Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), caused by the onset of winter due to factors such as reduced sunlight, change in one’s body clock, and a general gloom, is fast becoming a major concern.
Psychologist Sushmita Ganguly said, “SAD is not to be taken lightly. It is a result of a chemical imbalance in the brain as it produces more melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep, and less serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood. This imbalance can deeply aggravate underlying mental health conditions and thus demands proper care. Symptoms can range from feeling gloomy, losing interest in activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, fatigue, difficulty in decision-making and can be as severe as having suicidal thoughts.”
Ashutosh Sehkaria, a clinical psychologist, said, “It is true many were suffering from disrupted sleep patterns, fatigue and mood swings due to prolonged lockdown, they must be wary whether condition is getting worse with temperature drop.”
“A popular treatment is phototherapy where you project your body to bright light to help sync your body clock. Relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga are also effective,”said Ekta Singh, psychologist.
Good food and exercise can bring not just the body, but also the mind back to health. Pragati Bapat, a psychologist, said, “It is vital to keep a check on your diet. food. Talking to your therapist, psychologist or psychiatrist will help find right course of treatment.”