Top 5 Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder
To many of us, winter is a magical time. One day you’re walking through the frigid, cold weather, with everything in shades of brown, and the next day the entire world is blanketed in a layer of puffy white.
This is the time where families and friends spend the entire afternoon in the gently falling snow, having adrenaline-filled snowball fights with each other.
However, there is another group of people that do not feel the same euphoria as most of us. When winter comes, they prefer to stay indoors, shielded from the winter sun, and stay underneath their blankets all through winter. These individuals are the poor souls that suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
At this point, you might see some semblance of the above situation in yourself during winter. So are you actually suffering from SAD? Below are the top 5 signs of SAD to help you determine whether you are suffering from this recurring disorder.
1) You Feel Especially Depressed Come Autumn Or Winter
Your friends might have told you of a peculiar trend they observed in you: you are extremely bubbly and cheerful throughout most of the year except during winter, when you will lock yourself in your room, refusing to even take a step outside. Negative emotions seem to overwhelm and paralyze you.
If you find yourself suffering from this every year, you could be suffering from SAD. This is not surprising – as a form of clinical depression, SAD shares the same, albeit milder, symptoms as major depressive episodes, such as hopelessness, sadness and lethargy.
2) You Sleep A Lot, And Feel Fatigued
People afflicted with SAD tend to stay indoors, and sleep a lot more during the winter months. Indeed, one study has shown that SAD patients sleep up to 10 hours in winter! This has to do with the lethargy that comes with SAD; you’ll feel fatigued all day, and will therefore find staying in bed a better option to getting up and about.
During the winter months, people with SAD will be much more moody than others. They will be exceptionally irritable, getting annoyed at the most trivial things. They might even experience bouts of rage during the winter months.
You might find yourself suddenly ticking your friends off for no apparent reason. If your friends note this sudden change in mood within you, don’t retort them! You’re probably suffering from SAD, and might require professional help, depending on the severity of the condition.
4) Bigger Appetite
People with SAD are observed to have a larger appetite during the winter months. They gobble down larger portions than what they usually take, and will seem perpetually hungry throughout the day. In serious cases, they might even gain up to 30kg during the winter months.
If you find yourself unable to set yourself down to even complete the simplest task, then take heart; you might be suffering from SAD. It has been reported that SAD will cause the person to have difficulty concentrating on the task at hand.
The sign of SAD points strongly towards your affliction with SAD; if you find yourself agreeing with the symptoms above, it is highly likely that you have SAD. However, you do not necessarily have rough out the entire 3 months – approach professional help, and they will help you alleviate your symptoms during the winter months so that you can return to your normal life as soon as possible.