Season Affective Disorder (SAD)

Now that the dark nights are upon us as well as the strains of working, living and coping through the ongoing pandemic, some of our members may also begin to suffer from Season Affective Disorder.

As ever UNISON is there to help you with our support services and you can utilise the companies support services too as we are all here to support you.

So What is SAD?

The exact cause of SAD is not fully understood, but it’s often linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days.

The theory is that lower levels of sunlight in winter may the hypothalamus from working as it should. As a result, people with SAD may produce too much Melatonin, and so feel sleepy, and or too little serotonin which can affect your mood, appetite and sleep patterns leading to feelings of depression.

So what can you do?

The first thing to remember, if you do feel affected by SAD, is that it is only temporary and things will get better!

  • The main treatments for SAD according to the NHS are:
  • lifestyle measures – including getting as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and managing your stress levels.
  • light therapy – where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight
  • talking therapies – such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling
  • antidepressant medicine – such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)

And as mentioned earlier UNISON are always here to help.

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