Do you suffer from SAD?
Updated: Jan 22, 2019
Luke Mallia Azzopardi
When daylight hours start to decline, and temperatures get colder people may find themselves experiencing symptoms resembling depression. For some the symptoms are relatively brief whilst for others they span for a longer period (APA, 2018). It is possible that the said person is in fact suffering from a disorder known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or ‘SAD’ in short. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern with symptoms including, but not limited to altered eating/sleeping patterns, low mood, lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities and feelings of worthlessness (NHS,2018).
Whilst there is no specific ‘cure’ for SAD there are number of treatment options that have been shown to work. Light therapy in which the client is asked to spend more time in the light is often the first option one can turn to. Preferably, the light is natural i.e. daylight, however in places where this is absent specifically designed lamps which filter out harmful UV rays are available to buy. Talk therapy during the active phases of the depressive episode as well as medication have also shown promising results. Lastly, social support from family and friends as well as keeping oneself active during colder and darker periods of the year are also beneficial to combat SAD (Parekh, 2017; Rohan 2013).