Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall-Back Into SADness

"The SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) season births its symptomatic depressive moods upon us generally around the same time when we turn our clocks back from standard to daylight savings time. The fall-back one hour change results in shorter daylight hours. For those of us who depend on sunshine to brighten our moods the shortened daylight makes us feel SAD, and are likely to continually feel even SADder as the season progresses. SAD hovers above our heads, its emotional clouds filled with feelings of depression, melancholy, and anxiety, as we do our best to muddle through each darkened day.

SAD Symptoms

Change in Sleep Patterns
oversleeping but not refreshed
cannot or reluctantly get out of bed
require afternoon naps
feelings of despair, misery, guilt, anxiety, hopelessness, etc.
normal tasks become frustratingly difficult
withdrawal from friends and family
avoiding company
crankiness or irritability
lack of feeling/emotion
constant state of sadness
decreased energy
everything an effort
decreased productivity
Physical Ailments
joint pain
stomach problems
lowered resistance to infection
weight gain
premenstrual syndrome (worsens or only occurs in winter)
Behavioral Problems
appetite changes (usually increased appetite)
carbohydrate craving
loss of interest in sex
difficulty concentrating
not accomplishing tasks

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called Winter Depression, affects approximately 10 million people in the United States alone. Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from this disorder. People who live in colder climates have a higher incidence of SAD than do those who live in warm, sunny locations. It has also been documented that suicide rates are higher in places of increased light deprivation."

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