Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression. SAD mostly occurs during the winter, but some people still suffer during the summer as well. Scientist are still trying to agree on the exact cause of SAD, however, most theories revolve around sunlight.

It is widely believed that the cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder lack of sunlight, which is why it is most common during the dark winter months. When we are exposed to the sun, our brain has a chemical reaction and it releases serotonin. Serotonin is the chemical that gives us energy and helps boost our mood – it is appropriately nicknamed “The Happy Chemical”.

During the winter months, we have less sunlight and we tend to spend a lot of time indoors, due to the weather, which is why our bodies start to lack serotonin. The end result is that many people develop Seasonal Affective Disorder which causes symptoms like: lack of energy, tired all the time and loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.

To avoid SAD symptoms from taking over, it is recommended to start light therapy before any symptoms start to appear. Sitting in front of a light box for a mere 30 minutes each morning can give you the serotonin needed to get you through the day. Light therapy is used to help give you energy and boost your mood, which is exactly what someone with seasonal depression needs.