Mental Health Series: Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), as its name implies, is a disorder that affects the mood and generally causes depression at specific times of the year, most notably during the summer or winter. The condition is not unlike depression, except the low feelings occur in a cyclical pattern that reaches its lowest dips during a specific season.
Since winter isn’t far off, it’s important to raise mental health awareness about this disorder that affects an estimated 10% of the population living in the northern latitude. If you or someone you know tend to feel down during the colder months, it may be more than just a feeling of the winter blues associated with the new year or the passing of the holidays.
Identifying Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms
Take note of the symptoms commonly associated with SAD, which may include:
- Feeling lethargic or constant fatigue
- A sense of worthlessness or low self-esteem
- Having trouble sleeping or staying asleep
- An increase or decrease in appetite
- Difficulty maintaining focus
It can be tricky to diagnose SAD because SAD symptoms are identical to symptoms associated with clinical depression. With SAD, however, the symptoms appear to follow seasonal patterns.
Several treatments are available including phototherapy. This form of therapy uses a light box which produces light similar to natural sunrays and helps reduces melatonin production. Melatonin regulates sleep cycles, and too much of it has been linked to the aforementioned symptoms.
Alternatively, you can also spend more time outdoors to get more light from the real natural source. If symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend antidepressant medication. This is where we enter the picture and provide depression prescription assistance.
SAD is a serious condition, and it is Simplefill’s mission to help families make their prescription medications affordable. Please visit our site to find out if you are eligible for assistance. If you meet our requirements, please apply to get started.
Mental Health Series