Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that people experience at a particular time of year or during a particular season. It is a recognised mental health disorder.
Most of us are affected by the change in seasons – it is normal to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, or to find that you eat more or sleep longer in winter.
However, if you experience SAD, the change in seasons will have a much greater effect on your mood and energy levels, and lead to symptoms of depression that may have a significant impact on your day-to-day life.
SAD has many different symptoms. You do not need all of them to be experiencing SAD:
- lack of energy for everyday tasks, such as studying or going to work
- concentration problems
- sleeping issues - such as sleeping for longer than usual or not being able to get to sleep
- depression – feeling sad, low, tearful, guilty, like you have let others or yourself down; sometimes feeling hopeless and despairing, sometimes apathetic and feeling nothing
- anxiety – tenseness and inability to cope with everyday stresses
- panic attacks
- mood changes – in some people, bursts of hyperactivity and cheerfulness in spring and autumn
- overeating – particularly 'comfort eating' or snacking more than usual
- being more prone to illness – some people with SAD may have a lowered immune system during the winter, and may be more likely to get colds, infections and other illnesses
- loss of interest in sex or physical contact
- social and relationship problems – irritability or not wanting to see people; difficult or abusive behaviour
- greater drug or alcohol use
At Castle Counselling Services we can offer you a safe, secure and confidential space in order to explore your seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Counselling with one of our therapists can help you to recognise and deal with factors which may be contributing to your symptoms.
They can also help you recognise and deal with other factors that may be contributing to your symptoms.
Who can help you?
Counselling services in the North Coast Causeway area of Northern Ireland, we can offer you an initial telephone consultation for 15/20 minutes free of charge for you to discuss the reason you are seeking counselling.