School holidays are over, the nights are getting darker and the weather is colder, it seems that summer is well and truly over. If you have noticed yourself feeling a little gloomier, you are not alone. Experts say that Autumn can worsen anxiety and depression. One in fifteen people in the UK are thought to be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), between the months of September and April, according to NHS figures.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. The exact cause of SAD is not understood but it is often linked to the reduction in light during the winter months. This lack of light is thought to affect the part of the brain controlling sleep and energy. SAD can cause symptoms such as low mood, lack of interest in daily activities, irritability, lethargy, sleeping for longer and finding it harder to get up in the morning, craving carbohydrates and putting on weight.
Even for those not suffering from SAD September can be a struggle. School starts and workplaces get busier again. The weather gets colder, nights draw in and there is a long time until the next bank holiday over Christmas. There is evidence that the sunshine really does make people feel better, people seem more able to cope when the sun is shining. September can leave us pining because the summer is gone.
What can help?
Try to change your lifestyle so that you are exposed to as much natural sunlight as you can. Exercising regularly can help to improve mood and reduce stress levels. Special light boxes are available which can be used to simulate exposure to sunlight. Practicing Mindfulness can also help beat the winter blues.Talking therapies such as CBT and hypnotherapy are an affective treatment. If you think you may be suffering from depression it is always a good idea to consult your GP.
If you would like to know more about how hypnotherapy and mindfulness could help you please call me on 07769892376 and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.