Well, you are not alone. Statistics reveal that about 2-3% of Canadians experience a phenomenon called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as S.A.D (in short form). This statistic is similar to other studies done worldwide as well.
S.A.D is one form of depression. You might have heard it called the “Winter Blues” or “Winter Weather Depression”. Nowadays, doctors also call it a Mood Disorder with a seasonal pattern. Whatever you refer to it as, you are likely feeling glum and uninterested in getting out the toboggan. This occurs when people experience a change in their moods due to the change in the seasons.
Although it’s not uncommon to feel gloomy on a dark, drizzly day; if you are feeling down from late autumn until the onset of spring, you might be susceptible to S.A.D. Some people experience a mild form, while others have a more debilitating type.
Who Is at Risk?
It is thought that an assortment of bio-psycho-social factors cause S.A.D. What this means is that, depending on your genes, where you live, and what your gender and age are, you might get the ‘winter blues’. For example, we know that S.A.D involves:
How do I know if I have S.A.D?
If you have noticed that you are experiencing the following symptoms during the winter months FOR AT LEAST TWO WEEKS, please consider booking an appointment with your family physician to discuss diagnosis and treatment options:
Don’t fret, there is treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Only a doctor can diagnose you with any illness, therefore it is important to make an appointment with your family physician to discuss your symptoms. When you arrive, be sure to have all the information needed so that your doctor can develop a treatment plan for you. It is important that you
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, treatment might include some or all of the following:
Whether your symptoms are mild or severe, there is help, hope and treatment. First and foremost, contact your doctor, they can treat S.A.D in a variety of ways. They may use a combination of interventions to help you feel better. And, before you know it, you might be tobogganing or ice-skating in the crisp, wintery air.
Kim is a Masters prepared RN who has worked virtually everywhere. Initially, she graduated from a 3-year Diploma Program at a local college. She then completed a BScN and a Masters of Nursing Degree. Currently, she is completing a post-graduate Diploma Program in Clinical Behavioural Sciences at McMaster University. She is a Certified Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse through the Canadian Nursing Association. She has enjoyed working in pediatrics, neurosurgery, management, palliative care, cardiology, education and psychiatry. Presently, she works in an outpatient psychiatric clinic. She also enjoys writing and blogging on a variety of subjects.