MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -The cold weather months can really affect your mood. Have you ever heard of SAD. It stands for Seasonal affective disorder and it is caused by the weather. Most people with SAD start having symptoms around the late fall and goes through winter. SAD can also occur in the spring but according to studies it is less common during the spring and summer months.
Sunlight and darkness release specific hormones to the brain. When there is sunlight the brain produces serotonin which is linked to boosting your mood and helping to feel calm and more focused vs darkness produces melatonin which makes one think more of sleep.
Some studies show that those who already are in a good mood that there was little to no affect on their moods even with cold dreary weather whereas those that are not in the best of moods already, studies show that these are the cases where dreary weather contributed to them feeling more depressed.
Some of the signs and symptoms are
- feeling depressed almost every day
- Losing interest in things you once enjoyed
- Low energy
- Not being able to sleep
- Appetite or changes in weight
- Feeling irritable
- Unable to concentrate
Symptoms specifically for Fall and Winter SAD also called winter depression are:
- Appetite changes, craving high in carbs foods
- Weight gain
- Tiredness and low energy
It is normal to have some days when you are not feeling yourself but if it happens everyday, contact your doctor
Treatments for SAD include, light therapy, psychotherapy relaxation, meditation, and medicines.