Now is the winter of our discontent, is the famous opening line of Richard III, a play by William Shakespeare. In 1984 psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal followed in the Bard’s footsteps, by being the first to use a new term that changed the way people think about winter.
People who say they don’t thrive and generally feel unmotivated, may have a SAD tale to tell.
SAD stands for seasonal affective disorder. It is a very real type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. It tends to begin and end at approximately the same time each year.
For those affected by SAD, the symptoms (energy sapping and moodiness) tend to manifest themselves in autumn and continuing into the winter months. These symptoms often resolve during the spring and summer months. Less often, some experience depression in spring or early summer, with resolution coming in the autumn and winter.
It is important not to brush off the feelings simply as a case of winter blues that have to be weathered with no relief. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
- Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day.
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.
- Having low energy and feeling sluggish.
- Having problems with sleeping too much.
- Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain.
- Having difficulty concentrating.
- Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty.
- Having thoughts of not wanting to live.
- Appetite changes especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates.