Seasonal Affective Disorder: Are you SAD around this time of year?
With winter weather approaching, some may feel sluggish or depressed. Is this a form of hibernation? Is this normal?
What you are feeling is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S-A-D.
"I know, when I go into a room and the lights are off and there's not light, it's a lot harder to get moving because you feel like you should be asleep, and I feel that the sky kind of shows that same idea of when it's cloudy, our bodies are kind of saying it's time to be less motivated," UNL freshman, James Kruml said.
It pairs well with colder climates and is described when an individual is diagnosed with depression at the same time two consecutive years or more and during the same season.
"So where you look at states that have less sunlight, you have a higher percentage of the population with seasonal affective disorder, we know that females have a higher incident of Seasonal Affective Disorder, about 4 to 1 compared to males," Bryan Health Mental Health, Dr. Dave Miers said.
"I think it can affect every person, but it's definitely something that is an individual choice on how it affects the person and how they deal with it," Kruml said.
Yes, it is hibernation.
The body produces more melatonin to help ease you into sleep mode, but in return also has a harder time transmitting serotonin for mood.
It is a lesser form of depression and there is a way to fight it, diet and exercise.
"Individuals tend to crave carbohydrates; they tend to have hypersomnia, whereas they go through the day just really fighting, trying to stay awake, either at work or at school. They tend to overeat and then they start gaining weight," Dr. Miers said.
Vitamin D supplements and light therapy can also help.
Bryan health hospitals also has an online depression screening tool to help you figure out what could really be bothering you.
Click here for the link to the screening tool.
You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 if you feel like your depression has the possibility to threaten yourself or those around out.