Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a type of depression that comes and goes as the season’s change. It’s also often referred to as winter depression because the symptoms are usually more prevalent and severe in the winter. SAD can affect adults of all ages but seniors may be more at risk due to certain lifestyle factors.
Older adults with mobility issues may spend less time outside which means less exposure to natural light resulting in a higher risk of developing SAD. The recent passing of a loved one, as well as feelings of isolation, can also put you at risk for developing this type of depression. The good news is that SAD is a treatable condition and there are steps you can take to help. Follow along as we explore ways seniors can ease the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. Healthline explains, “It’s a psychological condition that results in depression, normally provoked by seasonal change. People typically experience the condition in winter.”
It’s important to point out that SAD is more than just the winter blues. The major difference is that seasonal affective disorder will last for two weeks or more.
While the exact cause of this disorder is unknown, there are contributing factors that can put you at risk. For example, living in a climate that has long winter nights and less sun is a contributing factor. Light is thought to influence SAD as decreased sunlight exposure can affect your natural biological clock that is in charge of sleep, hormones, and mood.