Seasonal Affective Disorder in Seniors
Feeling glum is a typical reaction to the post-holiday craze and darker, colder winter days. But if that sadness continues for an extended period of time, it may be a red flag to a deeper issue.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs in cycles with the seasons, typically affecting people during the winter months. A decline in daylight during the winter affects circadian rhythms and causes hormonal changes, leading to depressive symptoms. This is especially found in people who live in areas of ice or snow, since less time is spent outdoors.
Keep reading to learn the symptoms of SAD and the steps you can take to prevent yourself from developing SAD.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Although symptoms may vary from each individual, typical symptoms of SAD include:
- Sleepiness and fatigue
- Withdrawing from typical routines and social groups
- Feeling worthless and depressed most of the day, every day
- Unintended weight gain or weight loss
- Having difficulty concentrating
Helping Yourself Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder
Increase Your Vitamin D: Research shows that vitamin D plays an important role in physical and mental health. And, the National Institutes of Health recognized older adults as an at-risk group for vitamin D deficiency due to changes in diet and difficulty converting and absorbing the nutrient.
Spend Time with Loved Ones: The more time we spend on social connections, the more we increase positive feelings of belonging and love.
Eat Right and Exercise: Be sure to keep a balanced diet and include exercise into your routine, as both of these healthy habits contribute to overall better wellbeing.
Talk to Your Doctor: If these feelings persist or seem overwhelming, talk to your healthcare professional. They may recommend treatments such as medication or a “light box” that helps to decrease the amount of melatonin in your body, which helps you feel less fatigued.
Learn More About the Vibrant Lifestyle Offered at The Moorings at Lewes
At The Moorings at Lewes, you’ll never be bored. Our continuing care retirement community offers all that you need to live a vibrant lifestyle filled with activities and things you love the most. And, with maintenance-free living and an all-inclusive lifestyle, there’s no need to worry about home maintenance or running errands. We take care of everything for you. Resident Ron Gerber shares, “This is home; it’s the right place for me.”
Contact us today to learn more and schedule your personal tour.