Have you ever noticed that when the gray skies arrive and the cold air sets in that you often are feeling a little down in the dumps? Maybe you've noticed this in your partner or your sister or brother. It's not unusual for someone to start to feel a little not like themselves as the winter weather kicks in.
Interestingly there is a name for this phenomenon and it is actually quite common. Seasonal Affective Disorder or otherwise known as S.A.D. is a disorder that affects over 3 million people in the United States each year. It comes on when the weather gets gloomy and cold. It is most common in areas of the country where there is limited sunlight over the course of the winter months.
There is good news and that is that some of those people affected by S.A.D. are helped by light therapy where a UV light is shone on the person to mimic sunshine. This helps some people with the feelings of hopelessness, depression, sadness, and fatigue. There are also others who are helped by talk therapy or in some extreme cases medications.
S.A.D. is usually self-diagnosed, but a medical provider can help you identify it if you're having new symptoms and you don't know where they came from. It is important to know if it is S.A.D. or something a little more serious because S.A.D. is temporary and usually passes after the winter days melt into the springtime.
Like with any mental health issue, S.A.D. does not only affect your mental well being, but it may have an affect on your physical well being as well. Those who suffer from this disorder are often depressed which can lead to overeating, sleep deprivation, and lack of movement. All of these symptoms of the disorder are detrimental to your skin. If you are experiencing these symptoms and your doctor is certain that you are suffering from S.A.D. you may be able to ride it out until the spring time when the weather evens out a bit more.
If you are concerned about your eating habits, lack of good quality exercise, or minimal sleep, you may want to temporarily consult your doctor about medications that can help your mind get right for the time during your S.A.D. diagnoses. When the weather returns to pre-winter temperatures, you may be able to get back to a medication free lifestyle.