It’s easy to feel SAD at this time of year. And no, I don’t mean actually sad (boohoo), but the mental health condition, Seasonal Affective Disorder. According to the mental health charity MIND, the reasons for why people suffer from SAD during the autumn and winter months is unclear, but a combination of the effects of reduced light levels, a disrupted body clock, low serotonin levels, and high melatonin levels, could all be triggers that set off this condition.
Living in a temperate climate like our own, we can relish the changes of the seasons, and the contrasts that each one brings. For most of us, Christmas means sparkly lights, cosying up by the fire with family, and frosty walks in the low summer sunlight. For others who suffer from SAD, however, winter can be incredibly hard and lonely. SAD can cause serious symptoms, such as changing weight, appetite and sleeping patterns. All these can combine to have a detrimental effect on your physical, as well as your mental health. (more…)