The holiday season is over. The parties have ended. Now you're looking at a few months of winter's coldest and darkest days. For many of us, those winter months can make us feel sad or depressed. Sometimes, that feeling doesn't go away until spring.
In the old days, this sad feeling during winter was sometimes known as "cabin fever." Today, health professionals have a name for this condition. It's called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. This seasonal depression is a mood disorder that happens every year at the same time.
The Cleveland Clinic reports that there are actually two kinds of SAD. For most people with SAD, symptoms start in the fall and continue through the winter. Less often, symptoms will begin in the spring or early summer.1 In today's article, we'll talk about SAD in the fall and winter.
First of all, what causes it? The causes of SAD are unknown, though research suggests there are biological clues. Some of these may include the body having trouble regulating serotonin, an overproduction of the hormone melatonin, as well has an insufficient amount of Vitamin D may all be associated with SAD.2
People with SAD have some symptoms of depression2, including:
Some people may be more at risk for SAD than others. Things that may increase your risk of seasonal affective disorder include2:
If you have any signs or symptoms of SAD, you should take them seriously and talk with your doctor about them. SAD can get worse and may lead to complications if not treated. These can include:3
Treatment can help prevent problems from getting worse, especially if your doctor diagnoses and treats SAD early.3
There are other things you can do to help lessen the effects of SAD. You can try the following:
Following these steps can help you manage seasonal affective disorder:5
So, as you can see, "cabin fever" is not something “made up.” It can be a serious condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. But now that you know what SAD is and how to help with it, if you feel you may have SAD, talk with your doctor. With a little help, you'll be able to keep your SAD under control and get through the winter months.
This material is provided for informational use only and should not be construed as medical advice or used in place of consulting a licensed medical professional. You should consult with your doctor to determine what is right for you.
This communication doesn’t guarantee benefits and doesn’t indicate all services received will be covered by your plan. Please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or call Customer Service at the number on the back of your Humana ID card to confirm that the service will be covered by your plan.
From tests to lifestyle management, learn how to reduce your chances of developing diabetes.Read about diabetes risk management
Low-impact exercises can be as effective as high impact—but be easier on joints.Read about low-impact exercises
Yes, you can live to 100! Age healthily by eating well, exercising, and avoiding things that hurt your life expectancy.Read live to 100