What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depressive condition that affects people who associate the weather outside with how they intend on feeling. It is rather normal to see someone happy and joyous when it is sunny and warm outside, but when the weather gets dark, rainy or dismal; people tend to be a little less upbeat and joyous. This seasonal change in personal moods affects some people causing a type of depression. This condition could be recognized as a constant mood shift disorder, which has been known to affect people of all ages, gender and race. This common disorder is primarily seen in the winter, but it could become apparent during other seasons as well.
In our brain, we have a number of different lobes and central diffusive glands that help coordinate several bodily functions. The hypothalamus is a major component of our brain, which is responsible for core bodily functions such as body temperature, mood, appetite and physical activity. The condition causes a hormonal imbalance at the cellular level, which is known to cause the seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD. Why does the hypothalamus cause this type of depression? It is quite easy to explain, because of how this brain function works. In order to activate the hypothalamus, it needs to have some sort of reaction from the eye. Any sort of visible light that hits the retina would be responsible in activating the hypothalamus.
When the light and mood outside is gloomy and dull, it would have that same affect one’s mind. Another common depression associated with SAD is known as the winter depression. It occurs in people during the winter when the weather is extremely uncomfortable, cold and gloomy. The disadvantage with this condition is that it lasts several months and could really stop you from doing the things you enjoy doing. Now, winter isn’t the only season that has this depressive affect on people as summer weather could have affect on people as well. In diagnosing this condition, it is important that you get the appropriate amount of help from someone who can help.
The primary reason why someone might develop seasonal affective disorder is because of the lack of bright colors and light that they get to see on a daily basis. Even during the summer months, if the day is gloomy and dull; it could lead to people feeling depressed and full of anxiety. The various things you could use in determining whether someone has this condition is by analyzing their sleep patterns, mood changes, energy levels and interest in everyday activities. If you see that there is a lack in any form of physical activity, it may be a notion that could be used to explain whether this individual may be experiencing SAD. Various treatments are also available for people who have this disorder, but it does depend on the severity of the case.
In treating seasonal affective disorder, you could use medications, behavioural therapy and psychotherapy. Some common medications people use for treating SAD include Zoloft, Prozac and Celexa. These conventional medications could be used for the short term, but long term use does raise questions about long-lasting side effects. Instead, if you focus on using herbal remedies for seasonal affective disorder, you’d be able to avoid the side effects and biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus.