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Full of holidays, themes of warmth and family, the winter is a time that invites everyone inside to be together and enjoy the comfort of a resting hemisphere. For many people, the changing of the seasons is a grave warning of other changes to come. Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression in which people experience seasonal changes in their mood. Most commonly, DAD is associated with the winter. Less sun during the day can have a special effect on individuals’ production of dopamine which leads to feeling sleepy and lethargic all the time, causing symptoms of being depressed. However, SAD can also occur during the summertime, or any other seasonal change.

The cause and effect of SAD is debated, though the disorder is officially listed in the DSM as of its third edition. Melatonin and other chemical changes seem to check out. Treatments for depression are recommended for helping, like using a UV lamp. One area of cause that is rarely looked at when it comes to SAD is trauma. Perhaps something happened in the winter. A trauma in your life occurred right around, or after the time the season changes from the colorful leaves to barren branches or when the wildflowers are fading into brush. Changes in the weather, the temperature, the humidity, the changing of the sunset time- all of these factors could contribute as a trigger. Months ahead of the traumatic event, the brain is preparing to cope with the memories, feelings, and associated sensations. All of the commercialized themes of the season could be a trigger as well. For example, if a traumatic event occurred around a holiday like Christmas, when Christmas lights go on sale in October it could be a reminder of the trauma.

Clinical Psychological Science published a study on SAD that seems to discount the validity of the disorder. Studies like these should always be taken with a grain of salt. Disorders which are very real to people like sex addiction, for example, are not listed in the DSM but are still treated accordingly. Auburn University at Montgomery conducted the study by analyzing data from a CDC survey in 2006 which had information on behavioral risks and depression. Researchers traced the seasonal changes in relation to the responses and used geographical location for the theory of light exposure causing a chemical imbalance. Neither the condition of winter nor the exposure to light had an effect on the responses. Still, people continue to struggle through seasonal changes, symptoms of depression, and any unresolved trauma which may come up during certain times of the year.

If you struggle to cope with symptoms of depression or unresolved trauma in your life, you are not alone. Help is available. There is hope for recovery. The Guest House Ocala is a private residential treatment program offering customized treatment plans for your unique set of needs. With treatment for mind, body, and spirit, you can find balance again- all year round.

Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800