SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER DOES NOT HAVE TO STEAL YOUR JOY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON
As we move into the holidays, we are sometimes faced with feelings that are all but merry. We suddenly become very aware of sadness we feel as we remember loved ones, friends, and family who we are no longer able to share this time with. These feelings are heightened as we become pressured by social and financial obligations and may even cause some to feel depressed. Although most chalk this up to “seasonal depression”, there may be an explanation to a lot of the symptoms you are feeling.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that is directly related to the change in seasons. Coincidently, for most this begins as fall arrives, the weather changes, and there are less daylight hours as we move into winter. According to Texas Vista Medical Center Psychiatrist, Victor Gonzalez Jr., M.D., “the start of the holiday season can be stressful for many reasons beyond social stressors. Biologically, we are affected by the lack of sunlight and sometimes inactivity that results from the cold weather months. I suggest staying as physically active as possible as well as even looking into light therapy to balance your circadian rhythm.”
Some signs that you may be experiencing SAD include:
- Weight gain
- Decrease in energy levels
- Feelings of increased sadness
- Sleeping for long periods of time
These feelings tend to increase the further into the winter you are and decrease as the season turns into spring. Here are a few tips to combat the effects of SAD:
- Light therapy
- Physical exercise
- Vitamin D supplements
Seasonal Affective Disorder should not be something that keeps you from enjoying your holiday season. If you feel your symptoms are worsening, reach out to your primary care provider or a mental health professional.
About Texas Vista Medical Center
Texas Vista Medical Center is a 327-bed acute care hospital with specialties in Cardiology, General Surgery, Orthopedics, Rehabilitation, Women’s Health, Emergency Services, Physical Therapy, and Psychiatric Services. Its medical staff includes skilled, board-certified physicians representing a wide range of medical specialties. Texas Vista Medical Center is part of Steward Health Care, a physician-led health care services organization committed to providing the highest quality of patient care.
About Steward Health Care System
Nearly a decade ago, Steward Health Care System emerged as a different kind of health care company designed to usher in a new era of wellness. One that provides our patients better, more proactive care at a sustainable cost, our providers unrivaled coordination of care, and our communities greater prosperity and stability.
As the country’s largest physician-led, tax paying, integrated health care system, our doctors can be certain that we share their interests and those of their patients. Together we are on a mission to revolutionize the way health care is delivered - creating healthier lives, thriving communities and a better world.
Steward is among the nation’s largest and most successful accountable care organizations (ACO), with more than 5,500 providers and 43,000 health care professionals who care for 12.3 million patients a year through a closely integrated network of hospitals, multispecialty medical groups, urgent care centers, skilled nursing facilities and behavioral health centers.
Based in Dallas, Steward currently operates 39 hospitals across Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Utah.