Battling Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter seasons. Sometimes referred to as the “winter blues,” this is a very real psychological condition that can affect you both physically and mentally. SAD is most common in women between the ages of 18 and 30. The exact causes of seasonal depression aren’t known, but the reduced level of sunlight during late fall and winter are believed to play a large role. Reduced sunlight can:

  • Cause a reduction in serotonin levels
  • Disrupt your body’s internal clock, leading to insomnia or fatigue
  • Cause a reduction in melatonin levels
  • Lead to a Vitamin D deficiency, which in turn affects serotonin levels

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are similar to those of major depression, the main difference being that seasonal depression tends to go away in the spring whereas major depression is chronic and persistent regardless of the seasons. In seasonal affective disorder, feelings of sadness and hopelessness may be accompanied by:

  • A lack of interest in activities you usually enjoy
  • Changes in weight or appetite
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Disrupted sleep patterns, which can mean insomnia or oversleeping
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Sudden mood swings or irritability
  • Suicidal thoughts

Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area

All too often, people do not seek treatment for seasonal affective disorder. They may assume it is not “real” depression, or they may not think it is worth treating if it only lasts for several months. But seasonal depression can affect your entire life, from your job to your family. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder is available in the Dallas-Fort Worth area so that you don’t have to struggle with this debilitating disorder for months.

At Texas Health and Counseling Group, with locations in Arlington, Frisco, Hurst, McKinney, and Richardson, we offer treatment for seasonal affective disorder and depression in a caring, supportive environment. Individual or group counseling can help you better understand the disorder and how it is affecting your life. This is not a disorder that you should learn to live with. Contact Texas Health and Counseling Group today to schedule an appointment with an experienced mental health professional.

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