5 Ways To Avoid Seasonal Depression

If shorter days and colder temperatures shift your energy and make you feel sad, you’re exhibiting classic symptoms of a seasonal mood disorder. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of seasonal depression triggered by the change in seasons that occurs primarily in the fall and winter.

So, how does this happen to people? There’s not a definitive answer for this, but experts think that but that seasonal changes disrupt our circadian rhythm, which is the 24-hour clock that regulates how we function during sleeping and waking hours, causing us to have more energy and feel alert at times and drained at others.

Another theory is that the changing seasons disrupt serotonin and melatonin levels, which control sleep, mood, and overall feelings of health. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, about 4 to 6 percent of US are diagnosed with SAD, and more than 20 percent may have a mild form of the disorder that starts when there are less sunlight and outdoor warmth.

Interestingly, women and young people are more likely to experience SAD, as are those who live farther away from the equator. People with a family history, anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder may be more susceptible as well.

So, what can we do about this? Here are a few treatments that really work to alleviate the symptoms of SAD.

1. ARTIFICIAL LIGHT

Light therapy boxes and therapy lamps give off light that