A new bulletin from the Mayo Clinic outlines the nature of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of depression tied to the loss of regular sunlight resulting from the change in seasons. According to the report, symptoms can begin in the fall and continue through winter. The disorder manifests itself in many ways, including a declining energy level, loss of interest in activities, overeating and weight gain, and potentially suicidal thoughts.
Experts believe that disruptions in melatonin and serotonin levels within the body may play a part in the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder. At the same time, many of the symptoms may resolve themselves as the seasons change. Workers who traditionally work outside during the warmer months may be at higher risk due to the declining sunlight intake and outside air. It is advised to seek medical attention if you find yourself turning to alcohol as a coping mechanism or if you encounter suicidal thoughts during this period.
Learn more about the Mayo Clinic’s work on Seasonal Affective Disorder.