Falling Into That Seasonal Pattern?

At this time of the year, a lot of us joke about having what is known as, “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (SAD). Stress from the holidays and the annual push to accomplish aggressive goals prior to the end of the calendar year become a popular topic for discussion around the water cooler.

The fact is, SAD is real and science continues to reveal more each year about this “change of mood” many of us experience when a “change of season” occurs. SAD was first identified more than 30 years ago, but is now classified as a mood disorder “subset” in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer — and yes, it happens when the weather’s nice. Experts were initially skeptical about this condition, but its prevalence in the U.S. ranges from 1.4 percent in Florida to right at 10 percent in Alaska.

No longer considered a unique mood disorder but, rather a “specifier” with a seasonal pattern for recurring depression that occurs at specific times of the year and then fully remits (goes away).

Symptoms of SAD may include a lack of energy, difficulty waking up in the morning, nausea, a tendency to oversleep and over-eat (especially carbohydrates), which can lead to weight gain. Other symptoms apart from the physical ones include difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities, and a decreased sex drive. No wonder Scrooge was particularly nasty around the holidays.

Read the full article here: http://www.examiner.net/article/20151215/NEWS/151219493