Seasonal affective disorder impacting millions of people

There are ways to treat SAD
AM AARON VANDERBILT SAD VO.transfer_frame_0.jpeg
Posted at 6:13 AM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 08:14:59-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — If you’re feeling a little down or not yourself ever since the time change, you’re not alone.

You could be dealing with something called seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is when you have short periods of time where you feel sad or not like yourself.

Your mood has started to change during the season and time changes.

People may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter.

People who are likely to experience it include those already struggling with depression or if you have a bipolar disorder.

Doctors don't know exactly how many folks struggle with seasonal affective disorder, but women tend to struggle more with this compared to men.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Behavioral Health Psychologist Dr. Dennis McLeod wants people to watch for the warning signs.

"These things that you usually love, specifically, are things you're kind of mad about now. Also, changes in diet, so most people might eat a little more like eat less changes in sleep, as well. So you might experience some insomnia, you can't get to bed or other folks hypersomnia. So you may sleep more than usual. Your body might move a little differently, so you might be slower than you used to be when even more a little more fidgety, that also is a symptom,” Dr. McLeod said.

Treatments are available that can help many people with SAD.

Doctors use light therapy, psychotherapy, antidepressant medications, and Vitamin D to help patients.