Quality health cover that meets your needs doesn’t need to be complicated or too expensive. We offer you great cover, easy claims, and above all we tell it like it is – Affinity Health

To find out more, give us a call today!

One of our qualified and friendly agents will be happy to assist you.

Call Center:

0861 11 00 33


086 607 9419

General Enquiries:


Find a Doctor/Dentist

or Dentist


Where can you go?


Near me

The Official National Department of Health COVID-19 Support Service: 060 012 3456 (WhatsApp)

Find a Doctor/Dentist

Near me


Where can you go?


Near me


How To Beat Feeling SAD?

Did you know that there’s a type of depression that’s associated with seasonal changes? SAD also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder causes depression symptoms around winter. Many people take it lightly and think it’s just winter blues.

However, research suggests that this is a condition that may require treatment through medication or psychotherapy. Don’t brush off the sad feelings you feel in winter. Read on to learn what SAD is and how to beat feeling down this winter.

What is SAD?

Between Autumn and Winter, you might start feeling down. Your low mood can go on for months and affect your everyday life. You may notice changes in your emotions and mood as it gets colder.

In some cases, it gets severe, and you can’t carry on with your daily activities. When you notice significant changes in your mood and behaviour patterns during winter, you should consider seeing a professional for much-needed guidance.  Depressive episodes require a proactive medical approach.

Causes of SAD

According to research there isn’t a specific known cause for SAD. Theories suggest that the lack of sunlight can trigger the condition. Other common theories suggest the following causes:

Brain Chemical Imbalance

There are brain chemicals that send communication between your nerves. These chemicals are known as neurotransmitters and have serotonin which is the hormone responsible for making you feel happy. Serotonin levels are regulated by sunlight and the lack of sunlight in winter puts you at risk of a brain chemical imbalance that triggers SAD symptoms.

Biological Clock Changes

Your biological clock is an internal mechanism that regulates your hormones, mood and sleeping patterns. Reduced sunlight exposure can shift your biological clock. As a result, you could be at risk of being unable to adjust to the changes in daylight length.

Overproduction of Melatonin

Your brain produces a hormone known as Melatonin in response to darkness to alert your biological clock that it’s time to sleep. Melatonin affects your mood and sleeping patterns. The shorter days in winter can trigger an overproduction of this hormone which can lead to an imbalance in your sleeping schedule resulting in you feeling sluggish and tired most of the time.

Lack of Vitamin D

Evidence shows that vitamin D can affect your mood and sleep regulation. Your body can’t produce vitamin D and relies on sunlight and supplements to ensure you receive recommended levels of it. Less sun in winter can affect the amount of vitamin D that you get which disturbs your mood and sleeping patterns.

Symptoms of SAD

If you commonly have negative thoughts about the winter, you shouldn’t diagnose yourself. There may be another reason for your seasonal depression. You should consider professional help if you consistently show the following symptoms:

  • Extreme sadness that lasts the whole day.
  • Constant fatigue and lack of energy.
  • Feeling agitated or irritated.
  • Oversleeping or trouble sleeping.
  • Feeling hopeless and worthless.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

How to Beat SAD Feelings?

You can’t prevent seasonal depression, but you can manage it and ensure it doesn’t worsen. Professional help ensures you have various treatment options available to you. If you notice any changes to your mood and behaviour when seasons start to get colder, you should consider seeing a therapist.

The following are treatment options that can be used in combination to help you manage SAD symptoms:

  • Light therapy or phototherapy uses a special lamp to regulate your brain chemical imbalance.
  • Medication can be recommended alongside light therapy.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy to help you understand your underlying triggers to learn healthier habits and thinking patterns when the weather changes.
  • Adding vitamin D supplements to your diet.
  • Spending more time outdoors to get sunlight.

Who is at Risk of Feeling SAD?

Often women are diagnosed with SAD more than men. In addition, this type of depression commonly affects more younger than older adults. The following factors can increase the risk of SAD diagnosis:

  • Having depression or a related condition.
  • Family history of mental health disorders.
  • Lack of vitamin D.
  • Living far north or south of the equator.

In summary, SAD is more common than you think. If you find your mood and feelings changing with the seasons, you could be at risk of SAD. Ensure that you are aware of any unexpected changes that can affect your everyday life.

If you think you have the winter blues, you should try your best to manage how you are feeling. There are various treatment and management options to help you get through winter without negative feelings. With Affinity Health, you have access to Telehealth Consultations with a mental healthcare professional to help you understand and manage your depressive episodes.

If you would like to leave a comment


Get A Free Quote