We all know how waking up on a sunny day can lift our spirits, while a grey, rainy day may make us feel down. Fortunately, for the majority of us these shifts in moods will not affect our ability to cope with daily activities. For a minority group though this is exactly what can happen.
During the winter months, some people may suffer from symptoms of depression. This is due to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). The onset can be immediate or appear gradually. These symptoms tend to lessen as spring arrives and stops during the summer months.
Symptoms may include:
- A drop in energy level
- A tendency to oversleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Craving foods high in carbohydrates
- Weight gain
SAD can be linked to the lack of sunlight during autumn and winter. Those working long hours inside office buildings, without windows may suffer all year round. It is thought that the lack in sunlight and short daylight hours can cause an imbalance in the brain. Younger adults and women are thought to be at higher risk, although SAD may develop at any age.
Increased exposure to sunlight can significantly improve these symptoms. So now spring is around the corner and things will start to get a little warmer, it’s a great opportunity to enjoy more daylight. Taking a long walk outside at the weekend or even just getting off the bus a few stops earlier and walking the rest of the way to work, could help you get rid of that SAD feeling.
However, if at any time you feel your depression is severe, please don’t delay. Make an appointment to see one of our doctors promptly and get help.