Today I'll be continuing my discussing on Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you missed my introductory post on the definition of SAD and who it affects, you can check that post out here.
Today I'll be looking at the causes of SAD. This is a bit tricky, as the actual cause of the disorder is fairly unknown. The Mayo Clinic suggests that "it's likely, as with many mental health conditions, that genetics, age and, perhaps most importantly, your body's natural chemical makeup all play a role in developing the condition" (source). Because this disorder primarily happens in the winter, when there is a lack of sunlight, it leads people to believe that sunlight plays a big role in this disorder.
The Cleveland Clinic suggests the following: "One theory is that with decreased exposure to sunlight, the biological clock that regulates mood, sleep, and hormones is delayed, running more slowly in the winter. Another theory is that brain chemicals that transmit information between nerves, called neurotransmitters (for example, serotonin), may be altered in individuals with SAD" (source).
So, it appears that a number of contributors such as the body's natural rhythm, hormone & other chemical levels, and exposure to light all play a role in seasonal affective disorder.
Now it's your turn to share:
Any thoughts on the "winter blues"? What's one thing you do to stay happy and healthy in the winter?