|Some parts of the world (like the west or 'wet' coast of Canada) can have a long and cold rainy season which can feel quite dreary to some, and cause others to develop a mental health condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder - also referred to, most appropriately, by it's short-hand: S.A.D.
S.A.D. is a type of depression that is situational in nature which means it is generally caused by environmental factors and typically occurs in the fall or winter months, when the weather is cold and there is a lack of sunlight.
This disorder can make a person feel pretty rough and run-down and can cause a lot of issues with daily living - even mundane tasks that once seemed simple may feel like they're impossible to complete. If you think this might be happening for you, it's important to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments available so that you can start feeling happier.
Some of the possible causes of this disorder center around a lack of sunlight being absorbed into an individuals body:
“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.” ~ Gustave Flaubert
Luckily, there are ways to prevent or reduce the symptoms of S.A.D. Check out the infographic above for some lifestyle tips on how to improve your mood. Professional treatment for this disorder can include psychotherapy (counselling), anti-depressant medication, and light therapy. Light therapy has been found to have surprisingly effective results in a short amount of time. Learn more about light treatment here.
Sometimes, depression can happen for other reasons, including experiencing a loss, going through a big change like choosing a new career, retiring, chemical imbalances in the brain, and many other situations that can have a profound impact on a persons every day life. Sometimes, depression can just happen without any particular reason.
Clinical depression is a mental health concern that is vastly different than just feeling sad or down, and this condition can have a significant impact on a persons life. It's important to remember that depression is treatable and taking steps to having more support with these concerns can help. Talk with your doctor, local health clinic, or a counsellor about your symptoms so you can find out more about your condition.
When in doubt, don't be afraid to go outside and splash around in some puddles (just don't forget your rain boots). Laughter and having fun can also release those 'feel-good' chemicals so that you can feel sunnier, even when the sun isn't shining overhead.
Looking for even more information about Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): How to Fight the Winter Blues Effectively
Got the Winter Blues? How to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder
www.mayoclinic.org, www.helpguide.org, www.mooddisorders.ca