Health A-Z: SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)
Seasonal affective disorder – or SAD, as it’s usually called – is a form of depression that affects people in the winter. While most of us feel a bit more tired and lethargic in the darker months, it’s estimated one in 10 of us experience symptoms of SAD. And a small number of those are seriously affected.
So what causes SAD? Experts think it could be triggered by the effects of lack of daylight on our body clock, leaving us feeling sluggish and low. The signs kick in when the days start getting shorter and they can be similar to depression symptoms, including a loss of enjoyment in life, low libido, trouble sleeping (or sleeping too much), anxiety, low energy and difficulty concentrating.
If you’re affected, you should see your doctor – but whether you’re experiencing winter blues or full-blown SAD, there are ways you can help yourself.