A seasonal affective disorder(SAD) or seasonal depression is a type of mood disorder that makes a person feel more depressed, especially during a specific season every year. That specific season can be any one of all; not necessarily the only winter.
Usually, seasonal depression occurs in climatic conditions when there is less intensity of sunlight for a fewer period of time in a year. Such a condition is also known as ‘winter blues.’
In the year, when the days become shorter, the duration of the sunlight decreases, resulting in a drop in mood. In addition, people with a seasonal affective disorder start to experience its symptoms during the winter months and can lead to sapping your energy and making you feel moody.
The symptoms of the seasonal affective disorder can be distressing, overwhelming, and can interfere with your daily functioning. According to the statistics, about 5% of U.S adults experience seasonal affective disorder that lasts for 40% of the year. It has also been noticed and such disorders mostly occur in women as compared to men.
What Are Signs Of Seasonal Depression?
Mostly, seasonal depression symptoms start to occur during early winters and go away during early summer. During such a case, the symptoms arise from mild to moderate and severe as the season progresses. The symptoms of seasonal depression include:-
- Feeling depressed almost every day
- You may start losing interest in activities which you used to enjoy
- Low energy
- Difficulty while sleeping
- A change in your appetite or weight
- You may feel sluggish or agitated
- Having trouble concentrating
- You might feel hopeless, worthless, or guilty
- Frequent thought of death or suicide
These were the general symptoms that a person may face when suffering from seasonal affective disorder. But some symptoms occur according to the season, such as:-
Winter seasonal affective disorder: Seasonal affective disorder when occurs in winters it is called winter depression, and the symptoms include:-
- Change in appetite like craving for food items rich in carbohydrate
- Weight gain
- You may feel low energetic
Summer seasonal affective disorder: It is also known as summer depression, and its symptoms include:-
- Difficulty while sleeping(insomnia)
- Poor appetite
- Weight loss
- Agitation or anxiety
The combination of all such depression symptoms can affect your mind adversely, impacting your personal and professional life. It may even lead to sexual dysfunction depending upon gender.
What Is The Main Cause Of Seasonal Depression?
The specific cause of the seasonal affective disorder is still not specified yet, but some factors have been noticed that contribute to its occurrence, such as:-
Circadian rhythm: The reduced level of sunlight, especially during winters, may cause the winter-onset seasonal affective disorder. The decrease in the amount of the sun alters the internal body clock, leading to depression.
Serotonin level: A relation between the seasonal affective disorder and serotonin level has been found. A reduction in the level of serotonin affects your mood, anxiety, depression and can also be a major cause of the seasonal affective disorder.
Melatonin level: This chemical level plays a role in sleep patterns and mood. Change in season disrupts the balance of melatonin in the brain.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Sad?
According to a report, women are more likely to have seasonal affective disorder than women, and it mainly occurs in young adults than in older adults. Some factors increase the risk of developing the seasonal affective disorder, such as:-
Family history: If you have a history of seasonal affective disorder in your family, the chance of getting SAD or any other type of depression increases.
Major depression or Bipolar disorder: One of these conditions can act as a catalyst in seasonal affective disorder.
Living far from the equator: People who live far from the equator are more common to develop a seasonal affective disorder. Again, this can be because of the decreased amount of sunlight during the winter and longer days during the summers.
How Do You Test For SAD?
To diagnose the seasonal affective disorder, your health care specialist may ask you to go through a thorough checkup, such as:-
Physical exam: Your health care specialist can examine you physically in depth by asking you about your physical health. Sometimes, depression can be one of the causes of underlying physical health complications.
Laboratory tests: In some cases, if the doctor finds it necessary, he may ask you for blood tests known as complete blood count(CBC) or test your thyroid regularly to make sure it is functioning properly.
Psychological evaluation: Since the disorder is related to depression, you may be asked to consult with a psychologist or mental health professional to study your symptoms, thoughts, feelings, and behavior pattern.
DSM-5: The mental health professional may use the criteria for seasonal affective disorder listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Disorder(DSM-5) published by the American Psychiatric Association.
What Is The Best Treatment For Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Treatment for seasonal affective disorder involves light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy.
Light therapy: It is the first-line treatment for all people suffering from seasonal affective disorder. Usually, such therapy starts working in a few days or weeks with some mild side effects. Even though the research on light therapy is limited, it is effective for most people living with seasonal affective disorder. Before you purchase a lightbox, consult with the doctor first so that he may help you buy the product best for you.
Medication: Some people with seasonal affective disorder may feel relief from an antidepressant or an extended version of the antidepressant bupropion, such as Wellbutrin XL, Aplenzin. Such medicines help in preventing depressive episodes in people with a history of SAD. Other antidepressants can also be used for the treatment of SAD.
Psychotherapy: Another option for treating the seasonal affective disorder is psychotherapy, also known as talk therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy(a type of psychotherapy) that helps in:-
- Recognizing and changing negative thoughts and behaviors that may make you feel worse sometimes
- Learning the healthy way so that you can cope with seasonal affective disorder, especially with reducing avoidance behavior and scheduling activities
- Learning to manage your stress
Mind-body coordination: Some techniques can help you improve your mind-body coordination, such as:-
- Relaxation techniques, like yoga or Tai chi
- Guided imagery
- Music or art therapy
Seasonal Depression & Sexual Dysfunction. How Are They Related?
In some cases of seasonal depression, people often feel low towards things, and the same goes with sex drive. Due to continuous seasonal depression, people often experience seasonal sexual dysfunction. Difficulty with orgasm is found in women, and trouble getting an erection is common in men with SAD.
If not the season, the medication for treating seasonal depression can cause sexual dysfunction as its side effect. E.g., selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), and tetracyclic and tricyclic drugs.
In the case of men, depending on the severity and the prevailing health condition of the patient, the doctor may also prescribe him ED(erectile dysfunction) pills, such as Cenforce 100.
Cenforce 100 is a PDE5 inhibitor group of medicine containing Sildenafil Citrate. The medicine directly regulates the PDE5 enzyme present in the penis. Cenforce 100 directly works on the cause of sexual dysfunction; insufficient blood flows through the penis. The effect of Cenforce 100 on the PDE5 enzyme increases the blood flow through the spongy tissue, corpus cavernosum responsible for erection.
It is recommended to consume the medicine orally with a glass of water without crushing or chewing. Always consult with the doctor before taking Cenforce 100. There are some rules for swallowing the blue pill; let’s see what they are?
Rule For Consuming Cenforce 100
Follow these rules to have no side effects:-
- Always consult the doctor before taking Cenforce 100 in case of an emergency, especially for heart patients, Peyronie’s disease, or pulmonary venous-occlusive disease.
- Do not take Cenforce 100 with any other ED pills. It will lead to an overdose of the drug.
- Look for medical help if the erection remains prolonged for more than 4-5 hours.
- Avoid consuming alcohol with Cenforce 100. It will lead to side effects like headaches, dizziness, increased heart rate, or low blood pressure.
- Consuming grapes or drinks containing grapefruit may lower the impact of Cenforce 100.
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