All About Seasonal Affective Disorder

Have you ever noticed you feel more depressed during fall and/or winter? It isn’t just you, in fact, seasonal affective disorder is extremely common, with over 75,000,000 Americans being affected each year. Although seasonal affective disorder often comes and goes with the seasons, it can be very important to treat the condition!

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

Notice changes in your mood, appetite or energy as the seasons change? Seasonal affective disorder often begins to affect patients during the fall/winter months and can include symptoms such as:

  • Chronic Depression
  • Oversleeping
  • Low Energy/Fatigue
  • Sleep Issues
  • Appetite Changes
  • Weight Changes
  • Irritability
  • Feeling Worthless
  • Feeling Guilty
  • Suicidal Ideations/Thoughts

Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Although the exact cause of seasonal affective disorder is unknown, there are a few things known to play a role:

  • Circadian Rhythm is affected due to the reduced sunlight during fall and winter months, disrupting your body’s internal clock.
  • Serotonin can also be affected by the change in sunlight, decreasing serotonin (a brain chemical that regulates mood, appetite and even sleep.
  • Melatonin is also affected by changes in sunlight exposure and can result in disrupted sleep patterns, directly affecting mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Risk Factors

When it comes to seasonal affective disorder, there are a few factors which can increase your likelihood of experiencing symptoms. These factors include family history, genetics, mental health and even place of living.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Complications

Just like with any mental disorder, the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are nothing to ignore. Left untreated, the following complications of seasonal affective disorder can occur:

  • Social Withdrawal
  • Missed School
  • Missed Work
  • Substance Abuse
  • Suicidal Ideations/Thoughts
  • Suicidal Behavior

Visit Bellaire ER Today

Feeling depressed, worthless or suicidal? Bellaire ER can help! Visit our freestanding emergency room right away. We’re here 24 hours a day for any of your medical needs.