WHAT IS SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
It’s that time of the year again, cold, and never-ending winter is still a challenge despite all the modern technology surrounding us.
Let’s take a closer look at this not so uncommon problem.
Seasonal affective disorder is also known as seasonal depression or winter blues (in its milder form). It is considered a subtype of cyclical depression that’s linked to seasonal changes. It usually appears during the colder months of the year (less commonly in spring and summer).
Some of the symptoms associated with this disorder are depression, anxiety, extreme mood changes, sleep problems, apathy, unhealthy eating habits, social isolation, and loss of libido.
The cause of this condition is the lower levels of serotonin and irregular melatonin production during the cold seasons.
It affects 1-2% of the global population, and around 80% of the affected are women (the reasons are still being researched).
— Norman Rosenthal (@DoctorNorman) 30 de enero de 2018
SEASONAL ANXIETY AND WINTER DEPRESSION IN THE WORKPLACE
When suffering the winter blues, it’s very likely the work performance will suffer, especially when staying indoors, as the lack of sunlight causes the symptoms.
This is a common problem in the Northern countries, where different therapies have been put to the test.
Changing some habits might also help to mitigate the effects of this mood disorder.
Taking a short holiday and travelling to sunnier places is advisable, as the travelling and accommodation costs are more affordable than ever. The change of routine will help to boost the mood and recharge the batteries.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR WINTER BLUES: BLUE LIGHT AND SUPPLEMENTS
Bright-Light therapy has become increasingly popular, as a non-intrusive and effective treatment.
It’s also advisable to combine it with a healthy diet and natural supplements like tryptophan, that helps to regulate the levels of serotonin in the brain.
In more severe cases, cognitive behavioural therapy and medication should be considered.
OTHER WAYS TO COMBAT SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER
On the good side, winter has been traditionally considered the “slow” season: everything is dormant until spring arrives.
Sadly, we have become too disconnected from the natural rhythms, thus honouring this energy as part of the life cycle might be a good idea:
2. Catching up on books, movies, and TV shows (but not binge-watching).
4. It’s the perfect occasion for practical tasks (like food canning).
5. Taking time to evaluate our lives is also advisable.