Seasonal Affective Disorder THE South Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group is raising awareness for Seasonal Affective Disorder.

SAD is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern, especially during the winter.

For some people, the effects can be severe and have a significant impact on their day-to-day activities.

It's not known exactly what causes SAD, but it is linked to the reduced amount of sunlight our bodies are exposed to.

It can also affect your internal body clock and disrupt you sleep patterns.

It's also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases appear to run in families.

There are a few lifestyle changes which can help you battle the winter blues:

Get as much natural sunlight as possible, exercising regularly and trying to manage your stress levels

Light therapy is also used to treat SAD, where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight.

Symptoms of SAD can include:

• a persistent low mood

• being less interested in normal everyday activities

• irritability

• feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness

• feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day

• sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning

• craving carbohydrates and gaining weight.

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