10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder from 10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

Full Story

Shutterstock

10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also commonly referred to as a severe case of the winter blues, has been noted as far back as 1845. It affects approximately 10 million Americans, with symptoms beginning in the fall and continuing through the winter months.

*Related: 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Depression… But Should

Shorter days, lack of sunlight and cold temperatures are all associated with this disorder. If you are constantly feeling tired, you’re experiencing mood changes, you’re craving carbs, or noticing weight gain, you may be experiencing SAD.

Shutterstock

Frequent Colds is a Sign

One of the most common signs of SAD is frequent colds. This is because of its negative impact on our immune system. This type of depression makes you more susceptible to the common cold and makes it harder to get over a sickness because your body has more trouble fighting off infections.

A Light Box May Help

Light therapy is been proven to be one of the most common and successful treatments for SAD. It helps you wake up and get out of bed. Tip: Start the treatment a few weeks before symptoms usually occur. This way you can beat SAD before it takes over.

Shutterstock

Daylight vs Temperature

Contrary to what some people believe, SAD relates more to daylight – sunlight. It doesn’t have anything to do with the temperature outside.

Shutterstock

Who is at Higher Risk?

Women are at a higher risk for SAD then men. According to research, “four out of five people who have seasonal depression are women.”

Shutterstock

The Common Symptoms Include…

Fatigue, low mood, change in appetite, trouble concentrating, weight gain, lack of motivation, physical pain/discomfort, increased anxiety, loss of sex drive, and changes in social behavior.

Shutterstock

Certain Medications Can Treat SAD

If light therapy doesn’t do it for you, there are certain medications that may help treat SAD. Some of them include antidepressant treatments, such as Wellbutrin XL and Aplenzin.

Shutterstock

You Can Suffer From it in the Summer

Contrary to what many people believe, SAD can also affect people during the summer months. This is commonly known as “Summer Depression.” One of the main causes of summer SAD is the heat. People who don’t enjoy the heat and would rather sit around in their air-conditioned living room all day are more prone to this depression.

Shutterstock

It’s More Common Depending on Where You Live

Your geographical location may actually determine your risk factor. People who live farther north or south of the equator are more at risk for seasonal depression.

Shutterstock

How Many People Suffer Yearly?

It may not seem like a lot, but the truth is that in a given year, approximately 5 percent of the United States population experiences seasonal depression, research says.

Shutterstock

Craving Carbs is a Sign

You’re craving carbs out of nowhere? This could be due to your unconscious effort to boost your mood. One study concluded that carb cravers actually reported feeling less depressed after eating high-carb snack foods, while non-carb cravers said they felt tired after eating them.

10 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder