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  • Writer's pictureLisa Jones

Are you feeling SAD?

At this time of year in the UK when the weather starts to change, you may notice a change in your mood too. Many of us comment on the sunshine and how it makes us feel better, we feel warmer, the days are longer, and we can spend time outdoors.

But some people feel this change more than others. The changing seasons seem to control their moods and it’s not always the sun that makes them feel better.

Winter brings other changes that may allow them to sleep longer and eat better and they may feel a pressure in the warmer months to be more sociable when they may not feel like it.

Its important to remember that for these people, this can be a huge issue and one that can cause some confusion. As human beings we try and make sense of different feelings and emotions. The effect of light on our body clock is well proven and it helps to manage our appetite, sex drive, temperature and how much energy we have to get things done. In making sense of why we feel this way we can easily join the wrong dots and arrive at the wrong conclusion.

Because of the annual seasonal changes people can live with these symptoms for a long time before they recognise the correlation with the weather.

MIND provide a list of possible symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  • lack of energy for everyday tasks, such as studying or going to work

  • concentration problems

  • sleep problems

  • depression

  • anxiety

  • panic attacks

  • mood changes

  • overeating

  • being more prone to illness

  • loss of interest in sex or physical contact

  • social and relationship problems

  • greater drug or alcohol use

You can see how confusing these symptoms are, because they can also be caused by other life events or imbalances. With any of these symptoms, it’s important to get help from your GP or seek counselling. But if you have already noticed a pattern relating to the seasons or been diagnosed with SAD by a medical practitioner, there is other help available.

The SAD organisation is a charity run by volunteers and provides good support to sufferers.

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