Unstable mood, drowsiness, difficulty concentrating, wanting to stay under the covers all day: these are the symptoms of Winter Blues, a mood disorder that occurs with the onset of winter and which affects four times more people. women than men.
The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are dropping and the sun – shy – shines only for a few moments between the fog, the gray sky and the many rainy episodes. With the arrival of autumn first and then winter, the stress, anxiety and depression affect more and more people. This pathology is called “seasonal depression” or “seasonal affective disorder“(TAS).
It is not a simple melancholy, but a real discomfort which can be healed in many ways, even with music. This mental health problem is also called Winter blues Where winter blues in the USA. It is generally observed that it begins to settle at the beginning of autumn and does not disappear until the arrival of summer for some. There is a real correlation with the lack of sunshine over this period.
What is SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Emotional instability, some drowsiness, difficulty waking up in the morning, poor motivation at work to practice physical activity, difficulty concentrating … these are all symptoms that characterize what experts call “”winter blues “. This is a mood disorder which is scientifically called TAS, for Seasonal affective disorder.
We know the origin of SAD: it is linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain caused by reduced diurnal periods and a lower overall presence of the sun in winter. As the seasons change, people experience a change in their internal body clock and their circadian rhythm that can cause them to be out of step with their daily schedule. A vicious circle confirmed by a recent American study conducted by me dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, a psychiatrist who first identified this pathology in the 1980s. In an article published in the New York Times, he underlines the fact that about 15% of the population suffers from SAD.
Likewise, according to a study by the US National Institute of Mental Health, women suffer four times more than men from Seasonal Affective Disorder. There are also environmental factors: for example, those who live at altitude suffer more from SAD than those who live near the equator. For example, it is estimated that 9% of people in Alaska suffer from seasonal depression, compared to 1% of people in Florida.
Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder
The main symptoms related to seasonal affective disorder are :
- autonomic disorders
- mood swings
- global lack of envy
- difficulty getting up in the morning
- lack of attention or difficulty concentrating
- decreased sexual desire
- insomnia and melancholy, causing some of the more common bowel disorders to worsen, especially gastritis, heartburn, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Different symptoms that can lead to fear of more serious illnesses and lead people to undergo heavy clinical tests. So it helps to be aware of them and to know that they can be symptoms related to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Indeed, once it has been established that it is a TAS, it suffices to set up a few small steps and be patient … And whatever happens, it’s only a matter of a few months before spring and summer return. And with them your good humor and your enthusiasm.
Changing habits to fight seasonal depression
To counter the negative effects that seasonal affective disorders can cause, specialists recommend making sure you have a well-balanced diet, including a lot fruits and vegetables of the season. It is also advisable to practice moderate but constant physical activity, of spend more time outdoors (do not hesitate to put yourself in the sun for 15 minutes each day as soon as you have the opportunity), to minimize stress and to show leniency towards oneself.
Also avoid making major decisions when you are not feeling well. It is not by chance that, in Antiquity, during the monsoon period generally accompanied by very violent tropical cyclones, Asians suspended all commercial activity. Not feeling entirely clear, they felt it was better to postpone important decisions. And, to ward off even seasonal ailments, find out here super foods that will protect you.
Read also: The 10 richest foods in vitamin C to boost your immune system
Fight seasonal depression with light therapy
Light therapy is an effective method which, especially in the Nordic countries, has given excellent results against seasonal depression or SAD. The light therapy consists of the use of a particular lamp which emits a very bright light and filters ultraviolet rays, it can be used simply at home, generally in sessions of about 20 minutes per day, throughout the winter. Most people get many benefits within a week or two of starting treatment.
A scientifically proven solution to regain efficiency and good humor even on a gray winter day. With light therapy, you can rediscover the joy of living and say goodbye to melancholy, exhaustion, sleeplessness, irritability, anxiety, nervous hunger and lack of motivation. Brands like Cytoled, NeolysPlus (Life +) or even Red Light Man are particularly well known for red light therapy. Here are also other products that are worth a look:
Red light therapy
Treat your SAD with classic light therapy:
Article originally published by Lidia Pregnolato on alfemminile.com
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