SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) Is More Real Than You Think

sad lights

My first semester at college, I lived through my first real winter.  Growing up in southern California, I had grown accustomed to sunny, warm winters that allowed all sorts of outdoor activities.  My first real winter, with real snow and cold temperatures was nothing short of shocking.  I found myself feeling as gloomy as the weather and not wanting to be social.  I was not depressed and made it through without any serious winter wounds, but many suffer from even more serious symptoms.  Many, like me, find their moods going as low as the weather.  Unlike me, however, these people continue to spiral downward and feel additional symptoms of depression and lack of energy.  This is more than just the winter blues.  This is a medical condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. 

SAD is very real and its symptoms are very real to those who suffer from it.  People suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder feel depressed and feel the need to sleep often.  They lack energy and feel lethargic throughout the day, even the entire winter.  They have increased appetites and cravings for carbohydrates.  Their increased appetites lead to weight gain.  They also feel social withdrawals, and become increasingly anti-social and irritable. 

SAD is a serious condition that requires medical help.  Treatment can be found in the form of light therapy.  Lack of light causes SAD and light therapy can reverse its effects and have patients feeling sunny and happy.