When we set the clocks back and the days begin to get shorter and colder, a lot of people also start to feel a certain sense of disappointment and indifference. Having said that, physiologically speaking, most of us get less sunlight in the winter time and that has a direct impact on our mood that at some point, can be bad for others especially if uncontrolled, until it becomes a form of depression called seasonal affective disorder which is usually triggered by the changes in seasons. Experts describe a person with this type of disorder as someone who feels depressed in the fall and winter when there is less sunlight and the days are shorter.
Seasonal Affective Disorder: How Does It Change One's Mood?
According to reports revealed by the UCLA Newsroom, researchers believe that the lack of sunlight that takes place between these months usually triggers the changes in our body clock and as well as in our internal rhythms, which then leads to depression. It was found that the difference between seasonal affective disorder and other types of depression is that symptoms are generally carried out in the longer, brighter days of spring and summer.
Furthermore, in one of his statements reported by Self, David Asensio, M.S., a neuroscientist and neuropsychologist who works at CogniFit, a company that develops brain games and cognitive assessments claims that the main driving force behind SAD is sunlight or the lack of it. He explains that light, in a general sense, affects the amount of serotonin in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate our mood.
On the other hand, experts say that anyone can suffer from SAD, however, those with other existing mood disorders are perceived to be at a greater risk. Moreover, Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical School, author of Super Mind, and the first psychiatrist to describe and diagnose SAD, has revealed that other things that can possibly make a person more vulnerable to these changes is gender. In a series of research conducted, Rosenthal believes that women seem more susceptible than men by a factor of about three to one.
Meanwhile, experts suggests that if you feel you have this kind of disorder, it is just but important that you consult a physician. Light therapy is generally very effective, and can get you to a place where you no longer dread winter.