Can You Develop Seasonal Affective Disorder as You Age?

February 1, 2023

Can You Develop Seasonal Affective Disorder as You Age?

The winter season can bring about a lot of changes to our lives. We are spending more time indoors, perhaps seeing less people and doing less activities, and that can cause a lot of mood changes!

While having the winter blues every so often is not usually a cause for concern, there is a specific disorder that is linked to the change in season that you need to be on the lookout for.

Our AFC Urgent Care Mooresville team explains all about seasonal affective disorder below, so check it out.

Where Does SAD Come From?

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is most common those over the age of 20. This condition is also much more common in women than in men. Symptoms of SAD typically increase as the seasons change into the colder months since we are spending much less time outdoors.

When we are not exposed to natural light every day, our bodies can start to overproduce the hormone called melatonin. While melatonin is a natural hormone that helps fall asleep and stay connected to our circadian rhythm, too much of it can lead to symptoms similar to depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms to Watch For

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

Can I Fix SAD Symptoms?

If you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing, it is crucial that you visit with your care team for an evaluation. Depression-like symptoms should never be ignored, and your mental health is an incredibly important part of your overall health.

The good news is that the majority of people who have seasonal affective disorder experience fewer or even no symptoms when the weather changes and the spring and summer seasons return. In the meantime, discuss with your doctor about any lifestyle changes you can make and try to spend some time outside every day if you can.

Combating SAD This Winter

  • 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 Mooresville to visit with our care team.

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