In winter we all have those gloomy days when we feel more down than normal, even so, how do you know if you are simply having a bad day or suffering from more serious issues, like winter depression?
A lot of individuals get downhearted during the winter months than you may realize and, while the symptoms differ from each individual, there are some admonitory signs to look out for.
We all discuss of having the “winter blues”, heretofore most of us sweep them off as something that is not “real”. But getting the winter depression is real, and it is a condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The truth is that the degrees of daylight we get affects our biological rhythms. In winter, they can go out of synch, causing a number of symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms?
The symptoms of winter depression are exceedingly wide-ranging, and everyone all individuals will experience it differently. Some of the symptoms you may have included:
* Craving unhealthy food
* Increased appetite
* Feeling worthless
* Low self-esteem
* Shouting out a lot
* Feeling anxious and stressed
* Decreased sex drive
* Feeling more burned-out
* Sleeping more
* Weight gain
* Lack of energy
Another strong cause is finding that you get these symptoms at the same time every year. This is a clear sign that your depression is related to winter. The symptoms may slowly begin during fall and get worse as winter approaches when the daylight hours diminish.
What Causes Winter Depression?
It helps to be aware of the different causes of winter depression, to help determine whether you are at risk. There is no one cause, but there are known factors that contribute to the likelihood of developing it.
The levels of sunlight you get each day affect certain hormones in the brain. Some theories state that sunlight affects the hormones responsible for mood, sleep, and appetite. This is why you may get some of the symptoms higher when sunlight levels drop-off.
Melatonin: As the light levels drop the amount of melatonin in our bodies produce increase. This is the hormone responsible for sleep, and more of it is produced when it’s dark, causing us to feel sleepy.
Serotonin: Once you get less sunlight, your body produces less serotonin. Serotonin affects your mood, sleep, and appetite – individuals who are depressed tend to have less of this hormone.
Circadian Rhythm: This responsible for our “internal clock” that lets us know when we need to sleep and wake up each day. This can get interrupted when the levels of sunlight we get change.
As you are able to witness, winter depression is a real condition that can affect many different areas of your life. However, researchers agree that individuals who suffer from seasonal emotional disorder are especially sensitive to light, or the lack of it. Substitute lost sunlight with bright artificial light, and your mode will improve.
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