Seasonal effective disorder is a type of depression related to seasonal changes. Therefore, it begins and ends approximately at the same time each year.
Winter depression disorder has been associated with melatonin. This is a hormone related to sleep that occurs in greater proportion when the days are shorter and darker. So, some studies suggest that the further a person lives from the equator, the more likely he or she has to develop this disorder.
Some of the specific symptoms of the seasonal effective disorder that appears in winter, sometimes called winter depression, include:
- Excessive sleep
- Changes in appetite
- Weight gain
- Tiredness or lack of energy
- Changes in mood
The World Health Organization ( WHO ) has published that depressive disorders in general, prevail in approximately 20% of the world population and within these are seasonal depressive disorders.
Seasonal depressive disorder is more frequent in women and young adults.
Faced with this situation, experts recommend the following tips to avoid or reduce this disorder:
- Be exposed to sunlight whenever possible.
- Do exercise or outdoor activities.
- Phototherapy or light therapy is the basis of treatment for this condition. Therefore, it is advisable to start it in the autumn, before the first symptoms occur.