Skip to main content

Seasonal Affective Disorder


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is sometimes known as ‘winter depression’ because the symptoms tend to become more apparent during the winter months. You can also suffer from SAD during the summer. It is a seasonal thing and therefore it comes and goes.

Symptoms of winter SAD

  • Lethargy
  • Sleeping longer than usual and not wanting to get up in the morning
  • Low mood
  • Irritability
  • Weight gain
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Loss of enjoyment and pleasure in activities

Symptoms of summer SAD

  • Weight loss
  • Troubled sleep
  • Change in appetite
  • Irritability
  • Anxiety

What causes SAD?

The specific causes of SAD are unclear. There are certain factors that could increase your risk of developing SAD:

  • Family history
  • If you already suffer from depression
  • Low vitamin D
  • Disruption of your body’s internal clock- during the window, there is lower light levels and this can disrupt your body clock leading to symptoms of SAD
  • Production of melatonin and serotonin

How can hypnotherapy and psychotherapy help with SAD?

Talking therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural therapy can help with SAD. Hypnotherapy can also assist. Whilst under trance, an individual is able to see new ways of understanding and responding. By engaging in focusing, you can uncover valuable qualities bringing them into your awareness and amplify your strengths.

I discuss this further in my earlier blog about depression here.