Having trouble adjusting to the change of seasons?
For some, changes of season can trigger depression. The days are shorter, the nights are longer, it’s already dark or getting dark when you’re driving home from work — it’s no wonder that our bodies start reacting to the lack of light!
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects over ten million of us in the United States each year. For many, the symptoms start in the fall and carry on through the winter, although some people do suffer seasonal depression in the spring or early summer. It’s more common in women than in men, but men often suffer more severe symptoms.
While the true cause of SAD is not known, it is commonly thought that decreased melatonin levels caused from the limited exposure to sunlight in the winter are involved, as well as decreased serotonin levels which may trigger depression.
Common symptoms of SAD may include:
- Feelings of depression or hopelessness
- A desire to sleep more
- Withdrawal from social life
- Lack of interest in activities that you normally enjoy
- Feeling like your body is heavy, or feeling low in energy
- Increased appetite, craving for high-carb / high-fat foods, and weight gain
As with other types of depression, SAD can get worse and lead to serious problems if it isn’t treated.
Here’s some good news — acupuncture can help! Acupuncture is one of the most time-tested treatments known to mankind. Treating depression with acupuncture has a positive and holistic effect on depressed patients, and avoids the potential side effects of traditional medication.
Acupuncture can be very helpful for those who suffer from seasonal depression as they can bring the body to a more balanced state, and even prevent complications.
Besides acupuncture, it is also helpful for people to stay active — without overdoing it, and ensure that they have proper nourishment, rest, and time for introspection. It’s important to reach out and stay connected to those close to us, but it is also important to take the time to reflect inwards — as the seasons change, so do we, and there is opportunity for growth!
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