HYDERABAD: Have you ever wondered if the change of seasons could actually affect your mental health? Can you relate to Summertime Sadness by Lana Del Rey, Winter Blues by Joyner Lucas and Carpenters’ Rainy days and Mondays Always Get Me Down?
We can take these mood swings casually, calling them pure coincidence. But, experts say the opposite – they call it Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition that takes over the mind and mood with the change of seasons. Some of us tend to get irritable when the temperature suddenly drops or when there is a downpour. It happens because our minds and bodies are trying to adapt to climate change. âSAD is a form of depression, also known as seasonal depression or winter depression. It affects a person’s biological clock which controls their daily functioning, âexplains Anna Vijay, psychologist.
It is more common in people living far from the equator, with fewer daylight hours in winter. According to Vijay, common symptoms include fatigue, even after getting enough sleep. It is also associated with weight gain due to overeating and cravings for carbohydrates. SAD can be treated in several ways: light therapy, antidepressants, speech therapy or combinations of the same.
The most widely followed manual of mental disorders, the Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), describes SAD as a type of depression. People with SAD experience mood swings and symptoms similar to those of depression. Symptoms can be distressing and overwhelming, and can interfere with day-to-day functioning. It is more common in women than in men.
âSAD occurs in the winter or during the monsoon, when people don’t want to get out of bed. They just want to laze around. One of the main symptoms could be irritability and weight loss / gain. Most of the weight loss occurs during the summer as people lose their appetites. They also sweat a lot, âsaid Shraddha Sepuri, organizational psychologist and counselor.
During the colder months, people crave fried foods and soups to improve their mood, but it causes them to gain weight. âOver the past two years things have changed and there is no specific model to follow. People associate things like SAD with a different perspective, but it starts to affect you and your body. They should see a psychologist so that the condition does not lead to something more serious. “
SAD occurs when our minds and bodies try to adapt to climate change. The symptoms can be distressing and overwhelming. These can also interfere with daily functioning. SAD is more common in women than in men.