What Makes You More Susceptible To Seasonal Depression
It’s common to have low days from time to time. However, if you’ve been feeling down for more than a few days and can’t seem to push yourself to accomplish anything, it’s time to see a professional. This is especially crucial if you’ve also noticed a shift in your eating and sleeping habits. If not addressed, it can lead to feelings of hopelessness and even suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Here we will discuss Some of the risk factors for getting Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD).
You may be experiencing seasonal depression. Depressive episodes associated with the changing seasons are known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is also called “winter depression” because of the increased severity of symptoms throughout the winter months. Although SAD is most commonly associated with the winter, it can occur at any time of year, including summer or fall.
During the colder months, seasonal depression may affect around 4 to 6 percent of the population. A further 10-20 percent may develop moderate SAD. Most people with seasonal affective disorder experience symptoms in the late fall or early winter and then feel better as the weather becomes warmer and the days lengthen. On the rare occasion that the reverse pattern occurs, symptoms tend to first appear in the spring or summer.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may be more common in some populations. For example, people with bipolar disorder, for instance, are more likely to suffer from SAD. Some of the risk factors for getting seasonal depression are listed below.
1. High Production of Melatonin
The hormone melatonin plays a crucial role in regulating sleep. However, some people experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) symptoms during the winter because they produce more melatonin than average. As a result, many people with SAD feel sleepy and lethargic and have recurring nightmares.
According to one study, 16 percent of respondents with SAD experienced recurrent nightmares, while another 59 percent had occasional nightmares. Shifting to the right-side position can help with some SAD symptoms. According to studies, right-side sleepers have more positive dreams and fewer nightmares. So, selecting the best mattress for side sleepers is essential.
2. Lower Production of Serotonin
Serotonin is a chemical messenger that travels along nerve cells to relay signals across the brain and the rest of the body. Mood, appetite, and sleep are all influenced by serotonin. Reduced exposure to sunshine leads to a decrease in serotonin levels. If you suffer from SAD, your serotonin levels may drop below average throughout the winter.
Depression has been linked to lower levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin. However, it is possible to increase serotonin levels through natural means. The best methods to achieve this are eating healthy, exercising, getting out in the sun, and managing stress.
3. Body’s Internal Clock
Circadian rhythms are 24-hour cycles that affect physical, mental, and behavioral changes. Many of the body’s biological processes run on a 24-hour cycle. The presence or absence of light generally influences these natural processes. Sleeping at night and being awake during the day an example of a circadian rhythm influenced by light.
However, winters in both hemispheres are characterized by shorter days and longer nights due to Earth’s more significant axial tilt during winter. A lack of sunlight disrupts hypothalamic function in people with seasonal affective disorder.
Since your body uses sunlight to time several vital processes, such as when you get up, reducing available light in the winter can throw off your biological clock and trigger symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
4. Genetic Factor
Genes are fundamental biological units that carry traits from generation to generation. The DNA sequences that make up genes ordered sequentially on chromosomes in the cell nucleus. Many characteristics, like hair and skin color, determined by your genes.
However, there is widespread agreement that heredity plays a significant role in transmitting various health conditions. That’s why it’s unsurprising that health problems like seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can run in families.
There is evidence that SAD can run in families. This raises the possibility that certain people are more genetically prone than others to acquire the condition due to inherited factors. Multiple studies, including those involving twins and molecular genetics, have connected hereditary variables to susceptibility to seasonal changes in mood and behavior. For example, in a twin study, seasonality was at least 29 percent heritable in both sexes.
Consult a Professional
Some researchers believe that the absence of daylight during the winter contributes to the onset of depression. Depression is common throughout the winter months, but light treatment can help. If your doctor recommends trying light treatment, you might use a special light box or a light visor on your head. Do not attempt a self-diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) if you experience symptoms of this condition. For a complete diagnosis, it’s best to see a doctor.