Seasons come and go and there is so much to enjoy about each of them in their own special way. However, for some of us the change of seasons can have a heavy impact on our state-of-mind and it is important to understand what is going on if you’re feeling a tad…off.
The arrival of the spring can have a heavy bearing on many and has even caused a spike in depression diagnosis and suicide rates. It seems cruelly ironic that spring is one of the most beautiful and cheerful seasons, representing life and the eventual arrival of summer.
Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a real issue affecting thousands of people all over the world. This disorder can be especially difficult to deal with during spring because while everyone seems to be enjoying the warmer weather and new sprouting trees and flowers, a person suffering from SAD can feel extremely isolated.
Health.com highlights that spring can also be stressful time because routines that are otherwise present throughout the year, get uprooted as people start going on holidays, TV series will take a break, friends will not always be present, school comes to an end, etc.
SAD can affect people during any season but this also means that it is especially important to remain aware of your emotions during spring-time because this temporary depression can seem extremely confusing when everyone else around you seems to be full of energy as we leave the previous winter behind.
Depression can manifest in several ways but the esteemed Mayo Clinic points out specific signs to watch-out for:
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having low energy
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Having problems with sleeping
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:
- Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
- Agitation or anxiety
The mind is still very much a mystery and the specific causes of SAD are unknown within the medical community. However the phycologists and doctors concur that likely causes are a shift in ones biological clock due to the season change, a drop in serotonin levels due to lack of sunlight (in the case of winter SAD) and that the changing of a season can seriously affect your melatonin levels which is responsible for your sleep routine and mood.
It of the utmost importance to be aware that SAD is extremely common and has a solution. If you believe you might be developing any form of depression or mental issue it is important to reach out to family, friends and/or a medical professional.
Mental health should never be shamed and we must unite to ensure the wellbeing of all of those around us.