Do you ever feel like you become more irritable, sad or depressed during the winter months, but seem to recover during the Spring and Summer months? If so, you’re not alone. Whether you call it the winter blues, cabin fever or whatever you want to call it, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a very real phenomenon. There are many possible causes for SAD ranging from the lack of light in the winter months to the changes in human behavior during colder, shorter days. The National Mental Health Association has a lot of information regarding this and other mood disorders. Here is some of the information I found there.
SAD was first noted before 1845, but was not officially named until the early 1980’s. As sunlight has affected the seasonal activities of animals (i.e., reproductive cycles and hibernation), SAD may be an effect of this seasonal light variation in humans. As seasons change, there is a shift in our “biological internal clocks” or circadian rhythm, due partly to these changes in sunlight patterns. This can cause our biological clocks to be out of “step” with our daily schedules. The most difficult months for SAD sufferers are January and February, and younger persons and women are at higher risk.
To read more about Seasonal Affective Disorder go to Seasonal Affective Disorder