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What causes seasonal affective disorder and how is it treated?

Sad woman looking out the window

Seasonal affective disorder is quite common, especially in women, let’s see what it is and what remedies exist.

Seasonal affective disorder, also known by different names as seasonal sadness or depression, affects women to a greater extent. This kind of disturbance is common when autumn begins and even later, as the amount of light tends to decrease and the days become shorter.

This form of melancholy typical of the autumn and winter period seems to originate from a hormonal imbalance, linked to serotonin, the hormone of happiness. Let’s see what it is and what remedies exist.

Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder: What It Is and What Causes It

This type of disorder is also often referred to as “ SAD ”, which in English means sad, but whose acronym stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder , or seasonal affective disorder. Furthermore, due to the fact that it occurs especially when the summer is now a memory, it is also used to indicate it with the connotation of winter.

Often, therefore, we also hear about Winter blues , not to be confused with the Christmas blues , typical instead of the approaching holidays.

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This disorder seems to occur more frequently in people where there is a lower presence in the blood of serotonin , the hormone linked to happiness. The cause of the disorder is not yet fully understood, but several studies have shown that less serotonin remained in the circulation in people with SAD.

In these subjects, in fact, the hormone is “reabsorbed” more quickly (through a specific transporter, the SerT). It is therefore not a question of a lack of serotonin production, but its action is as if it were prevented since the hormone is, in fact, sequestered .

Seasonal Affective Disorder: The Remedies

It is a periodic disturbance linked to the moment of the change of season. Seasonal affective disorder is therefore closely related to exposure to sunlight . For this reason, spending as much time outdoors as possible can certainly help.

Sad woman looking out the window
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In addition, regular physical activity, even better if always outdoors, can be a good remedy to combat seasonal sadness. In addition to these good habits there is also a real cure.

This is light therapy , or light therapy, which is carried out through special lamps that have the purpose of simulating sunlight. This type of therapy is particularly widespread in northern European countries, where SAD is quite frequent.

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