February 23, 2023 5 Min Read
SAD Myth-Busting: Winter Blues, Summer Sadness, or Something More?
If you’re currently residing in the Northern Hemisphere, you’re likely in the throes of winter. Can we get a “Brrr…”?
Marked by short, blustery days, the season can certainly take a toll on your motivation. Dark mornings can make it harder to roll out of bed, and early sunsets may see you settling into your couch a little earlier than other times of the year.
But for some of us, the inability to absorb sunlight results in something much more serious than the “Winter Blues”. You’ve likely heard of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but in this episode of TaskHuman Talks, Barcelona-based Wellness Coach Mileidys Williams shares how SAD has recently been recast as a Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) with a Seasonal Pattern.
Mileidys sheds light on this much more accurate description of the condition, its realities, and what to do if you think you may be experiencing symptoms.
So let’s get myth-busting with Mileidys, shall we?
Myth: It’s just the Winter Blues.
While the symptoms of a MDD with a Seasonal Pattern extend well beyond a bit of lethargy, they can also be linked to Summer.
This seasonally-triggered depressive disorder has to do with how sunlight affects your circadian rhythm — that is, how your sleep cycle regulates your serotonin levels, which affects mood. Too much sun can be just as disruptive as the lack of sunlight.
In the winter, indicators include too much sleep (hypersomnia) and weight gain, while in the summer, it’s just the opposite with the inability to sleep (insomnia) and weight loss.
Like other major depressions, those triggered by a seasonal change, such as SAD, should be taken very seriously. Beyond these significant changes in sleep and appetite, look out for a lack of interest in activities that normally excite you, low libido and trouble concentrating.
Don’t forget to check in with friends and family who may be experiencing these symptoms as well. Remember that suicidal thoughts and self-harm are not outside the realm of possibility for major depressions, so it’s incredibly important to get immediate help.
Reality, checked. It’s not just the winter blues.
If you’re feeling a bit down due to any change of season, TaskHuman coaches like Mileidys can help you find ways to combat these feelings with physical activity, a regular sleep routine and light therapy. However, if you think your symptoms are more serious, seek professional help from a therapist or doctor — our coaches can also point you in the right direction for more support.
For even more myth-busting about MDD with a Seasonal Pattern, tune into the full episode. There are some big assumptions to unravel, so give it a listen.