What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors for Seasonal Affective Disorder?
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What Are the Symptoms and Risk Factors for Seasonal Affective Disorder?

This article will identify the symptoms and risk factors for seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If you socially withdraw from people, you might be suffering from SAD. With proper treatment, the symptoms of season affective disorder often diminish. However, many people continue to live with significant symptoms of social anxiety throughout their lives. If you want to learn more about how to live with this disorder read on.

Social affective disorder (SAD) is a condition which is characterized by depression and anxiety during a specific time of year. Most people with the disorder are affected most during the wintertime due to the decreased amount of light that we get during the winter. SAD may also be influenced by genes and hormones. Thus if a first degree relative, such as a parent or sibling, has seasonal affective disorder, you may also have it if you get depressed during certain times of the year.

The symptoms of SAD include:

Feeling tired during the day – Most people who have SAD feel tired. They may fall asleep during the day and have problems falling asleep at night.

Inability to concentrate – The inability to think properly comes with feeling tired all the time. The chronic fatigue is part of depression.

Social withdrawal – Individuals with seasonal affective disorder often have some sort of social anxiety. Women will often avoid contact with people they don’t know and don’t have a history with. They will often avoid going to sit-down restaurants and settle for take-out instead to avoid contact with other people.

Increased appetite – Women with this disorder oftentimes are overweight due to stuffing their feelings with food. Food is the quick fix to help them feel better about themselves. Then, usually, after eating, she begins to beat herself up, emotionally, for being out of control with her eating.

Gaining weight – Women who have gained a significant amount of weight in their lifetime will, oftentimes, criticize herself. She will hate how she looks. On the surface, she wants to do something about it, but she can’t seem to stop the behaviors that cause her to be overweight.

Irritability – Feeling irritable is a terrible state to be in. The person with this symptom tends to look at the world through a warped filter. She will sick of feeling sick and tired, and her irritability will convert to annoyance and dislike for other people.

Suspiciousness – Not trusting people is a big part of seasonal affective disorder. She may not have many friends because she doesn’t trust them. She feels that other people will judge her for her perceived shortcomings.

Feeling very unhappy – She feels unhappy most of the time, and she doesn’t know how to fix it. The behaviors that she has perpetuate her unhappiness.

Risk factors for SAD include:

Your gender – Females are more likely to have seasonal affective disorder than males.

Where you live – The farther you live from the equator – whether you live north or south of the equator – the more likely your risks of having symptoms of SAD. For instance, if you live in Alaska you may be more at risk for seasonal affective disorder than someone living in Florida.

Note: There will be another article to address the causes of SAD.


Seasonal Affective Disorder

Personal experience

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Comments (2)
Ranked #2 in Psychology

great articles

Thanks Carol.