We have a tendency to perceive mental health disorders like depression as permanent and long-lasting; however, there are a multitude of situational factors that may exacerbate depressive symptoms. Seasonal affective mood disorder, or SAD, is an example of a type of depression that is dependent on seasonal changes. It typically affects people during the fall and winter months, but individuals may also experience SAD in the spring and summer months as well. Symptoms of SAD can also differ according to season. Sunny weather and warmer temperatures during the summer months can complicate a SAD diagnosis, as individuals may not realize they have it. Some symptoms to look out for include:
- Difficulty getting to sleep, or staying asleep (Insomnia)
- Anxiety or feelings of agitation
- Poor appetite
- Feeling despondent
Fall and winter SAD symptoms can overlap with those common in summer months, but can also include:
- Oversleep or feeling lethargic
- Brain fog
- Weight gain
There are many natural therapeutic options for combating SAD that have demonstrated effectiveness in improving mood and staving off symptoms. Some natural mood enhancing herbs are a great way to combat mild cases of SAD. Rhodiola rosea is an ancient herb used to treat anxiety and enhance mood. Ashwagandha is another mood enhancing herb that can be used to support adrenals and aid in clearing up brain fog. Melatonin is a natural sleep aid that can be combined safely with most supplement regimens. These regimens coupled with counseling sessions can be very effective in managing SAD.
It is important to pinpoint symptoms as they emerge, and be aware of how your mood changes according to the season. We are here to help you navigate through symptoms of SAD, and tailor a therapy for you that will not only allow you to manage your symptoms, but recognize the seasonal changes that can trigger SAD. Make an appointment with Family Restoration Counseling Services today.