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Shorter Hours of Sunlight Causes Depression

Amongst the many different causes of depression one that greatly affects the mood of an individual is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. This is one that can be helped and when one looks at the difficulties that a depressive deals with this may be one of the easier ones to help a person get through. That does not mean it is any less debilitating, or less of a mood destabilizer, just that this is one that has some answers with it instead of just questions.

First of all to understand how to help someone who is suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder you need to known what it is caused by. It is a mood disorder that is directly related to the seasons and how much sunlight the person is exposed to. As the days get shorter they are less able to cope. The worse months for those suffering from SAD begin in September and should end by April, as the days are growing longer. Researchers claim that of those who suffer from some form of depression at least ten percent of them are dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

The symptoms of SAD are similar to most other mood disorders. The person will have no motivation to do anything. They will feel tired all the time but generally not sleep very well. They will have an increase in the amount of sweets that they want to eat frequently eating so much that they begin to put on weight. There will be a decrease in their interest in sex. The person will be irritable, sad, feel worthless, sufferer from low self-esteem and may withdraw from friends and family. This feeling of depression will last all through the shorter daylight time unless something is done.

The exact reason that this occurs is not clear and research continues to try to better understand this phenomena. It's believed to be related to the levels of serotonin and melatonin in the body that are imbalanced by the diminished hours of sunlight. There are a few ways to improve this imbalance. The best ways are naturally, for the person to spend more time outside during the day. Exercising outside is a great way to help out the depressive. The exercise releases endorphins, which naturally make the depressive feel better. Couple that with the exposure to more sunlight and you are on your way to an improvement in mood.

Phototherapy is another option. A mere two hours of exposure daily to phototherapy treatments can make a huge difference to a person's mood. There is a dawn simulators, for those who suffer more seriously, that will actually simulate a days worth of sunlight changing as the day goes on. Antidepressants are another method of helping those dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder along with the phototherapy sessions. Most people with this depressive disorder find that one treatment or a combination will help them get through this problem until the days are once again long with many hours of sunlight.

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