When you are well into winter and you have seen nothing but rain and wind for months on end, you might be wondering why it can have such an effect on your mood. This is actually a common issue known as Seasonal Affective Disorder.
In the film industry, there is a term called Pathetic Fallacy, which is when they use the weather to reflect or highlight a character’s emotions. So, when you see a character walking down the street and they are looking particularly melancholy, don’t be surprised if it also starts to rain.
In the real world, this is also true but flipped on its head. You might be relieved to know that it is not just in your imagination when you feel particularly sad in the later, darker and more colder months. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.
What is SAD?
When you are suffering from SAD it can be difficult to pinpoint why you are feeling the way you are feeling. Things that wouldn’t normally bother you can feel particularly tiresome and cause much stronger feelings.
SAD can mirror anxiety and even depression in some cases, they also have similar symptoms. Except, you will find that certain times in the year can be better or worse for these symptoms, including:
- Excessive tiredness
- Feeling lethargic
- Lack of enthusiasm
- Wanting to eat more
- Feeling irritated
These symptoms can vary from person to person and it is unknown what the true cause is for SAD.
The main theory behind it is that the lack of sunlight during colder months can affect your hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain responsible for the decisions you make throughout the day and your mood towards those decisions. When you are deprived of sunlight, your hypothalamus cannot produce as much serotonin or melatonin, meaning you are finding less joy in the things you do.
What sunlight is also vital in doing is regulating your circadian rhythm. When your body clock is thrown off by darker mornings and earlier evenings, your sleep pattern can become affected and, as a result your sleep pattern can be thrown off.
How therapy can help you.
As this is an issue that is exacerbated by things out of your control (time) you may think that you just have to wait it out and hope that once the weather gets better your mood will follow.
What is important to note is that all issues can be managed. Whether this is your first time experiencing SAD, or it has become a bit of an annual pattern in your life, there are ways for you to get through these months with a more positive and manageable outlook.
When undertaking therapy for any reason, you are able to take control over the issues you have been trying to hide or bury for a long time. By unpacking how you are feeling, understanding why it is happening and being willing to take action, even the seemingly uncontrollable feelings can be used to your advantage.
How Therapy in London can help.
What is important to remember is that any issue is manageable, even if it exacerbated by the elements. What our therapists aim to do is be a guide through your heighten feelings and emotions, and understand the patterns around them. Your feelings are there to be addressed, no matter how they come about, and our counselling services can offer you the space to ensure that you stay on top of them.
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