Seasonal Affective Disorder
The days are getting darker in Toronto and that means that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) will be setting in for many people. It is thought that up to 15 percent of Canadians will feel a mild form of SAD, but many others will feel mood and energy changes in the winter not significant enough for a diagnosis. SAD symptoms may include: - feeling down or sad most days over the fall & winter - wanting to sleep more than usual - feeling low energy - feeling a lack of motivation, hope, and concentration - appetite changes and weight gain As I said, many people feel some of these symptoms to a milder degree - winter can be hard! We don't know exactly what causes SAD but the main theories are a change in melatonin levels with the changing daylight, changes in serotonin levels with the reduced sunlight, and low vitamin D levels. We often treat SAD like we'd treat any other form of depression (herbs, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, acupuncture, etc.), along with making sure that you've got adequate vitamin D levels and that you're using a light therapy lamp. If you're feeling a winter slump, let's work toward making you happier!