Seasonal Affective Disorder is thought to affect around 3 in 100 people in the UK. Many people start to experience symptoms in their 20s or 30s, however, some children can also be affected. 

Also known as “Winter depression”, the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) are much more apparent and severe during the wintertime. 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

The Symptoms of SAD

The symptoms of SAD can include:

  • A persistently low mood
  • Feeling irritable
  • A loss of interest in your usual day-to-day activities 
  • Feeling worthless
  • Craving carbohydrates
  • Sleeping for longer than usual
  • Feeling guilt and despair 
  • Weight gain

The Causes of SAD

It is not yet clear what the causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder are. However, it is thought to be linked to a reduced amount of sunlight. This could be because the hypothalamus which is located in the brain is failing to work as well as it usually does. 

When the hypothalamus fails to work well it can affect:

  • The circadian rhythm (Your body’s internal clock) – When there is less light in the autumn and winter your body clock might be disrupted. This is why it’s often hard to wake up in the morning. 
  • The Production of melatonin – This is a hormone that helps you to feel sleepy. If you have SAD, you may have more melatonin. 
  • The Production of serotonin – This is a chemical that can affect your mood, sleep, and appetite. Lowered levels of serotonin can lead to a low mood.

There are also indications that SAD can run in families. 

When to See your Doctor 

You should consider speaking to your doctor if you think you have SAD and you’re struggling. Your doctor could ask you how you’re feeling, how much sleep you’re getting and if your eating habits have been affected. They might also ask you about any other changes in your behaviour. 

If you’re looking for mental health support in Cliffe, for example, there are many organisations out there that can help you. Please ask for help if you’re struggling to cope. 

There is a range of treatments available such as light therapy, lifestyle changes, talking therapies and medication. Your doctor can help you to find a treatment that can make a real difference. 

 

 

We offer mental health support for Selby and the surrounding areas. Why not give us a call? Our phone line is open from 7 pm – 10 pm, 365 days of the year.

Call us on (01757) 642 399. If you call before our phone lines are open and we cannot answer you will be diverted to an NHS Helpline.

Interested in helping those who are struggling with their mental health? We offer Mental Health First Aid training in Selby. Contact us at info@communitea.org.uk