Who Can Develop Seasonal Affective Disorder?

February 16, 2023

Who Can Develop Seasonal Affective Disorder?

It is more important than ever to keep an eye on your mental health. After the eventful few years we have all had, it can be normal to experience a wide range of feelings and emotions. While the occasional feeling of sadness or loneliness is usually nothing to be concerned with, lingering or severe feelings of isolation can indicate a need to investigate further.

In the fall and winter months, seasonal affective disorder symptoms tend to increase among the general population. In fact, up to 20% of people have seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

Check out AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN’s latest blog all about seasonal affective disorder below.

Is Everyone at Risk of SAD?

While it is possible to experience this condition at any point in life, it is more common in individuals over the age of 20 and often appears first in young adulthood. It is also more common in women than in men.

This condition has a close relationship to the sun and our seasonal weather patterns. When the sun isn’t out as long as it normally is in the summer months, we can start to experience a hormonal imbalance with hormones like melatonin. Melatonin is produced in our bodies in response to darkness, so too much darkness can lead to too much melatonin, which can lead to symptoms mirroring depression.

Common SAD Symptoms

  • Increased sleepiness or daytime drowsiness
  • Loss of interest in activities and hobbies
  • Irritability
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feelings of guilt

Will Seasonal Affective Disorder Go Away?

Unlike other forms of depression, seasonal affective disorder tends to follow a more predictable pattern. It arrives in the fall and winter and fades away when spring or summer arrives, and this happens yearly. Even though you might be experiencing more moderate to severe symptoms right now, there is a good chance that they will start to lift as we come out of the winter season.

However, all mental health conditions should be treated seriously and you should visit with your care team to discuss your symptoms and your treatment options. Some people find relief through lifestyle changes or talk therapy, while others utilize medication to help find relief. Whatever works best for you is always the ultimate goal!

Combating SAD This Season

  • Stand in the sun more often.
  • Discover a new hobby to keep you engaged.
  • Practice more self-care, like exercising and getting enough sleep.
  • Visit with a doctor if your symptoms start to affect your everyday life.

Your mental health is important to us. Come see us at AFC Urgent Care Athens, TN to visit with our care team.

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