Is it the Cold-Weather Blahs or Seasonal Affect Disorder?

Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD):

For about 5% of Americans, the end of warm weather and its outdoor activities brings about a “blah” feeling that is not easily shaken. Some may shrug it off as merely the “winter blues” and snuggle up with a blanket and wait for the seasons to change. While there may be times you want to hibernate, you may be experiencing something called Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). 

Many impacted by SAD report a yearly bout of depression that usually begins in fall and lasts until spring. There are those, although fewer in number, who experience similar issues in the spring and summer. Some of the common symptoms of SAD are: 

  • Feeling depressed most days
  • Low energy
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Loss of interest in things once enjoyed
  • Sleeping more than usual and sluggish
  • Changes in appetite and/or weight
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, guilt, or shame
  • Having consistent thoughts of death

At first glance, SAD symptoms look like clinical depression indicators. The main difference is for those with a diagnosis of SAD, the symptoms seem to be brought on by the change in weather and can be experienced yearly.

Causes and Cures:

While no specific cause for SAD has been identified, there are theories that some experience symptoms of depression in colder months due to a decreased exposure to light and change in sleep patterns. Namely, the reduced exposure to sunlight can cause a change in our circadian rhythm and decrease the production of serotonin, also known as the happy hormone. It has been shown that changes in seasons can also disrupt the body’s melatonin levels and cause sleep disturbances. 

Other key factors regarding SAD are:

  • Occurs more in women than in men
  • Occurs more in younger adults than older adults
  • There is usually a family history of others impacted by SAD, depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia
  • Have a personal history of diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder
  • Live in regions with seasons of decreased sunlight

There are some proven techniques to treat SAD and at Desert Oasis Clinic, we offer a few to assist patients. Because individuals with SAD typically have a vitamin D deficiency, many find it helpful to take a vitamin D supplement to their daily routine. A Nutritional Assessment at Desert Oasis Clinic will help you determine if this is needed for you. This type of assessment can also help determine if IV Nutritional Therapy would be a better option for SAD symptom relief

Desert Oasis Clinic also offers Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT), which has been shown to help those impacted by SAD. This non-invasive treatment uses oxygen to help reduce fatigue and sluggishness to help improve mood and focus. A consultation is required before deciding which Desert Oasis Clinic treatment is best for you. We can help you achieve and maintain your health goals using the latest natural and holistic treatments. Please call today at 702-310-9350  to speak to our friendly staff and schedule an appointment.

Posted in: Health Tips