(WVNS) – If you think your mood could be changing as we turn the clocks back from long sunny days, you could be right. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and across America between four to six percent of the population experience seasonal depression.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is when people experience depression of some kind that is usually related to the change of season. Days are much shorter with less sunlight, and scientists think that may affect our melatonin levels and change the chemistry of our brains.
While turning the clocks back and lack of sunlight can be a few causes, Director of Life Strategies Counseling, Hamlet Smith, told 59 News that the pressure of the coming holidays can play a huge role on changing moods as well.
“Especially with the Holidays approaching, people’s schedules get more busy and they have more time to think about lost loved ones while trying to pull off that perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner,” Smith said.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are the same as depression, they include; disturbed sleep, excessive eating or lack of an appetite, thoughts of suicide, lack of interest and lack of energy. They can be treated the same as depression as research indicates that people improve with seasonal affective disorder primarily through medical intervention and counseling.
Regardless what the cause may be, those experiencing these changes in their mood should seek help instead of ignoring these feelings until the winter is over.
“The problems that we ignore are usually the ones that bite us the hardest,” Hamlet stressed. “Facing your problems no matter what they are is usually a better remedy than trying to ignore it and soldiering on.”