Winter is a difficult season for seniors, caregivers, and people in general. Not only is winter a cold time of year, but it also becomes darker earlier in the day. With the pandemic still a factor, winter is a bit more difficult than usual. It highlights the need to talk about, specifically knowing the difference between winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Here’s a primer on the facts.
What is Winter Blues?
Many people experience what is known as winter blues when the dark, cold winter weather comes calling. Feeling lethargic and down generally speaking is part of the winter blues. It’s fairly common and shouldn’t impact how you enjoy your life. If you find that it does, you could be experiencing SAD which includes other symptoms and may require some form of treatment.
SAD is different from winter blues because it is classified as a type of depression. It typically begins in the fall and lasts through the winter. Unlike winter blues, SAD sufferers can experience:
- Changes in weight or appetite
- Low energy
- Not being able to concentrate
- Feeling depressed throughout the day, every day
- Not enjoying activities that you did before
The specific causes of SAD are not known. But it can be brought on by changes in your circadian rhythm due to lack of sunlight. This might contribute to depression. Melatonin levels may also be disrupted by the season and cause sleep problems. There are also serotonin levels that regulate mood and can be affected by the lack of sunlight.
If you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms from SAD, it’s important to seek help and create a treatment plan. In addition to a treatment plan, spending time outside, getting exercise regularly, and brightening up your environment will help with SAD.
If you know a senior suffering from winter blues in Orange County or Newport Beach, CA consider reaching out to Optimal Senior Care Solutions. Our caregivers can help seniors shake off the winter blues by offering support and help clients be more active in general. Reach out to our care team today.