Seasonal affective disorder (SAD for short) is a type of depression that comes on during the winter month’s when we have shorter days. It’s commonly known as the winter depression and many people who suffer with it feel fine in the spring and summer month’s.
The exact causes of SAD are not yet fully understood but the main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus (The part of our brain that controls hormone production) working properly, this can mean the production of melatonin (A hormone that makes us feel sleepy) can be increased and serotonin (A happy hormone) can be decreased.
Some of the symptoms of SAD are:
· Struggling to wake up and wanting to sleep for longer
· A low mood that is persistent
· Craving stodgy foods and or gaining weight
· Irritability or moodiness
· Lack of interest
· Lack of enjoyment in life
· Loss of energy
Thankfully it is not all gloom and doom, solutions focussed hypnotherapy can help to improve your mood.
When we are suffering with SADs we are encouraged to think more primitively (And more negatively) but during our sessions we will focus very much on all the positives in your life. This will help to produce more serotonin and improve your mood. It will also give your brain the time it needs to relax and focus on doing more of the activities that make you feel better. Hypnotherapy can also help improve your sleep pattern and quality of your sleep.
Other things that can help with SAD’s
· Exercise – Exercise is well known for improving serotonin production and mood, wrap up warm and get out into nature and getting as much day light as possible will also help improve mood.
· Interacting with friends – Another way to increase production of serotonin, especially if your friends make you laugh! And just having a support network to turn to.
· Doing something you enjoy. Any activities we enjoy for example painting, drawing, knitting, crosswords etc. can help with serotonin production.