With shorter days, sunlight scarce, many of us respond by planting ourselves in front of the TV or simply pulling the covers up over our heads. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a category of depression that emerges mostly during long winter months. Symptoms may begin in the fall when we shift our daylight saving clocks, but some may even experience a spring/summer version.
Several factors appear to influence the condition. The reduction of sunlight in winter can throw your biological clock off and reduce levels of serotonin (a brain chemical that regulates your mood) and melatonin (a chemical which regulates sleep and mood). If you’re young and female, you are at an increased risk for SAD.
Any of us can feel sluggish or unmotivated during a Michigan winter but if your symptoms are causing disruptions in your life, persist for days at a time, you notice shifts in sleeping or eating, are withdrawing socially, or activities that usually boost your mood don’t work, then it’s time seek help.
If you’re already experiencing symptoms of SAD, seeking treatment can help prevent them from becoming worse. You can schedule an appointment with a behavioral health professional by visiting www.virtualcaremi.com. A virtual consultation can be an invaluable option in helping identify patterns in negative thinking and behaviors, learning positive ways of coping with symptoms, and initiating relaxation techniques that can help you restore lost energy.
Asking for help is a first step toward a better version of yourself. You can start managing SAD today and live healthier in every season by simply visiting http://virtualcaremi.com.