Seasonal Affective Disorder, The Background of Feeling Gloomy on a Cloudy Day

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Are you often gloomy when it’s cloudy? High rainfall, the default is upset every day? Maybe Mommies have seasonal affective disorder.

Oh, no, why! This is not just a drama that carries feelings or emotions excessively during the rainy season. categorizes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as one of the health problems that are often experienced by many people. SAD is depression associated with changing seasons. Maybe that’s where the term “sad” (sad) came from. However, this feeling was not something to be taken lightly. If you experience SAD symptoms, proper treatment with the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist may be needed.

Why can someone experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) ?

Reported by Klikdokter , the cause of SAD is not fully understood, because there are various factors that contribute to the emergence of SAD. Among them are psychological factors, genetic factors and environmental factors. But reportedly, according to research in America, 4 out of 5 people with SAD are women, in the age range of 20-30 years. 

From an environmental perspective, seasonal changes are said to be the cause of SAD. Precisely, because the changing seasons affect a person in getting sun exposure. If all this time we know that UV rays can be harmful to the health of our skin, on the other hand, sunlight also has many benefits, where when we don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, the hormones in the body will not be able to work optimally, as a result, how it works. muscles are disturbed.

During winter, there is a change in the passage of time, the nights are longer and the days are shorter. This is said to affect the human circadian rhythm (time cycle) which then affects the onset of SAD. The results of brain scans in SAD sufferers in winter showed high levels of serotonin transporter protein which functions to reduce serotonin levels in the body. In fact, we need enough serotonin levels, because the lower the serotonin level, the easier it is for a person to experience depression.

In addition to serotonin, light also affects a person’s levels of the hormone melatonin, a sleep-regulating hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain. This hormone is produced in the dark. Meanwhile, seasonal changes can have an effect on irregularities in the production of the hormone melatonin in the body which can cause sleep problems.

But fortunately, we still live in an area close to the equator, because the farther away from the equator, the higher the incidence of SAD, due to less exposure to sunlight.

What are the common symptoms of SAD?

A person can be said to have SAD if these symptoms occur to him:

  • Feelings of depression
  • Decreased enthusiasm for activities that you normally enjoy
  • Decreased energy
  • Having trouble sleeping (sleeping too much or having trouble sleeping)
  • Increased appetite and weight gain or vice versa, no appetite
  • Nervous
  • Difficult to concentrate
  • The emergence of feelings of guilt, deep sadness
  • Loss of confidence
  • Loss of interest in life

How to treat SAD?

Basically, these SAD symptoms will get better on their own, when the seasons change again. However, appropriate treatment is needed so that these symptoms improve quickly. One of them, with light therapy or bright light therapy (BLT), which is 85% proven to be effective in dealing with SAD and sleep disorders. This light therapy is done to suppress the production of the hormone melatonin. Patients will be under bright light as much as 10 times more than ordinary people, for 30-90 minutes and done one to two times a week. The tool used is a fluorescent lamp with a plastic screen. This therapy can be done while doing activities as usual, including while eating and reading. 

Meanwhile, for more severe symptoms, treatment can be done with psychotherapy, specifically cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), especially if the symptoms are getting worse and lead to a loss of interest in life. This needs further treatment with experts (psychologists). Patients will usually be given drugs such as anti-depressants class SSRI ( selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors ).

Although it is a disorder that is quite rare, especially in tropical countries like Indonesia, any symptoms that lead to mental disorders and feelings of wanting to end life must be handled appropriately.

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