The winter blues, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), can be a common experience for many people. It often begins in the fall, with January and February being the most challenging months. Here is some quick information about Seasonal Affective Disorder and some ways you or someone you love can overcome it.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM - 5), Seasonal Affective Disorder is now referenced as Major Depression with seasonal pattern and is not a separate disorder. SAD is considered a type of depression that often begins in the fall and winter months when the days get shorter.
The symptoms associated with SAD can range from person to person, with some people experiencing a debilitation in their day-to-day functioning. Because SAD is a type of depression, many of the symptoms are depressive symptoms, with some additional ones related to the winter months. SAD symptoms can affect how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Here are some common symptoms:
It is unknown as to the specific causes of SAD; however, there is research that shows that people diagnosed with this type of depression may have the following:
There are a few ways in which SAD can be treated and it is best to talk with your doctor and try different options:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed, pp 155-188).
By Priscilla Rodriguez, M.S., LMFT, Owner of Modern Wellness Counseling
Priscilla specializes in working with couples and helping them learn ways to maintain their connection with each other. Priscilla utilizes research based techniques to help couples form a secure relationship foundation. Learn more on how you can enhance your relationship today.
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