Spotting the Symptoms of SAD
Winter days can give way to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Know the signs and treatment options to avoid self-medicating.
Unless you live in a perpetually warm climate along the equator, winter means colder, shorter and darker days. This lack of sunshine can lead to depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD is a type of depression that appears during the colder months of the year, and symptoms tend to be at their worst in January and February according to the American Psychiatric Association. Symptoms of SAD include fatigue, a lack of interest in usual activities, social withdrawal, weight gain and a craving for foods high in carbohydrates. Some report feeling sad, while others report not being able to feel anything or suffering from a lack of energy.
Everyone can experience this disorder differently, so it is important be aware of the range of symptoms. Depression in teens can manifest itself as sulking, shyness, reluctance to go to school, clinging to a parent or pretending to be physically ill. Because these behaviors are also standard markers of growing up, many teen depression sufferers (whether seasonal or ongoing) don’t get treatment.
Depression is so common these days that we may have become desensitized to its dangers, but it is important to understand that when depression goes undiagnosed, sufferers may turn to substances or negative behaviors to deal with their symptoms. Drug or alcohol abuse, gambling, dangerous sex or shopping addiction can complicate the existing mental health issues created by depression and SAD. This type of self-medicating may be why approximately 9 out of 10 people who seek addiction treatment have an underlying mental health issue like depression, anxiety or bipolar.
Mental Health and Addiction Help at La Paloma
If you or someone you love needs treatment for an addiction and co-occurring depression, call La Paloma at the toll-free number on our homepage. We are here 24 hours a day to answer any questions you have about treatment, financing or insurance.