Seasonal Affective Disorder: SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder: SAD

Seasonal affective disorder: SAD 

The change in weather and the amount of sunshine each day does effect peoples mood. A way person’s mood is impacted is determined by energy levels and the motivation to do things is extremely low.

The sun is disapearing for more than 60% of  the day, thus, the lack of sun and increase of darkness are what is causing your body and mind to react this way. In your body are important hormones which help with mood, appetite, and sleep which are affected by seasonal change. One of the hormones called melatonin which makes you feel sleepy is being overproduced and that might be why you are more often sleepy. The second hormone called serotonin is being produced less and that causes low and depressive moods. Consider these two with the lack of vitamins you are getting during winter. The last thing to be affected is our body’s internal clock, for people with seasonal affective disorder, their circadian rhythms will be timed differently.

Whilst there is little one can do about getting the sun back to its natural routine, there are fairly small things to do which can help yourself. Considering their possibilities to get sufficient vitamins from food and tablets it is important to reach your daily dose of Vitamin D as it is associated with depression. Whilst taking Vitamin D supplements another important part is counselling and making sure to talk to someone about your mood. If applicable, the purchase of lightboxes which can emulate light which is quite frequently used Scandinavian countries where lightboxes are regularly used. The last thing is getting antidepressant medication in which can help the hormone serotonin flood your mind again. However, be careful with the use of antidepressants. As it can be a good tool, it is important to understand it and have someone to be there to maintain a balance of medication and counselling.

As mentioned, there is little that we can do about the sun, however, we can always focus on ourselves or others that are in need. The seasonal affective disorder is a within the diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 therefore during winter times do not be too harsh on yourself or others if they are not being their optimal selves. It will be OK.


By We are human counselling team

If you or are anyone you know is struggling and need that extra bit of extra help do not at all hesitate to contact us. We offer a free 15 minute consultation.


Magnusson, A., & Partonen, T. (2005). The diagnosis, symptomatology, and epidemiology of seasonal affective disorder. CNS spectrums10(8), 625-634.

Melrose, S. (2015). Seasonal affective disorder: an overview of assessment and treatment approaches. Depression research and treatment2015.


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