With the winter season in full swing and daylight hours shortening, it is common for us all to be spending more time indoors and start feeling our moods change. Many people can feel this mood change as the seasons go by, but for others the change can be much more serious. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a subtype of depression, it follows a typical recurrent pattern in which an individual’s mood significantly alters during the fall to winter months, sometimes lasting 4 to 5 months at a time. Symptoms of SAD may be related to major depressive episodes but for winterpattern SAD some specific symptoms may include; oversleeping, overeating, weight gain, and social withdrawal. According to the National Mental Health Institute, scientists are still unsure what factors may directly lead to symptoms of SAD but research indicates a reduced level of serotonin activity in the brain. Some reasons they have hypothesized include the reduction of exposure to sunlight during winter months, potential overproduction of melatonin, or deficits in vitamin D; all which can affect appropriate serotonin levels in the body which is directly linked to mood regulation.
Our staff at Hale County Hospital, and our affiliated clinics in Greensboro and Moundville, are staffed with incredible providers to help you through these winter months. Whether it is you, your child or a neighbor, we have psychiatrists available to help you understand what you are feeling and provide appropriate, top care tailored just for you. Dr. Davis, a child psychiatrist, has clinic appointments available at both the Hale County Hospital Clinic in Greensboro and at Moundville Medical Associates in Moundville. If you or a loved one are feeling significant changes in your mood which are affecting your ability to perform daily functions, call the clinic today and schedule an appointment.
Hale County Hospital Clinic:
Moundville Medical Associates:
Source: National Mental Health Institute https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publica-tions/seasonal-affective-disorder