AlzU Blog

Winter Solstice Can Bring on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Shortly before winter solstice begins (around the third week of December) is reportedly a time when those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder are at peak risk for depression. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a specific type of depression that affects people during the same season each year-for most folks that time of year is winter.  Experts feel the condition is a result of lack of sunlight.  Symptoms include; feeling blue, moody, anxious or irritable.  SAD may cause a person to shy away from social activities he/she normally loves to be involved in. Some individuals with SAD report eating more carbohydrates (such as pasta, bread or sweets) in the daily diet, and/or sleeping more hours than usual or being drowsy all day. 

Studies have shown that overall; people who live in areas with longer winter nights are most vulnerable to SAD.

If you or your loved one with AD has noticed a pattern of depression that seems to subside in the spring months, it may be seasonal depression caused by SAD. 

Be sure to report any symptoms of depression to your physician including, sad mood, change in appetite, disrupted sleep pattern, lack of motivation, social isolation or suicidal thoughts.  Your physician may offer a treatment regime that is very effective for SAD. 

Keep in mind that getting adequate sleep every night, eating a healthy diet, engaging socially with friends and family on a regular basis and participating in a regular workout routine (approved by your physician) are lifestyle habits that can keep depression at bay.

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