The cold wave has hit the North East of the United States and states like Massachusetts, New York, and Main in the northeast have declared a state of emergency. The affected states had to shut down the schools and COVID testing centers due to the risk of frostbite. The day-to-day life of people has been at risk. But has anyone ever thought about the mental states of the people in such affected areas?
This specific situation in which the mental state is hampered because of the major environmental disasters is increasing day by day. Predominantly, the people above 35 are highly affected by the seasonal changes in winter and summer. The human body takes time to accept the changes in the temperature and seasons. As the season changes and temperature increases or decreases, physical and mental changes are observed in people. Although summer SAD is not very common, winter SAD is seen among lots of people.
What is SAD?
SAD, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is the biggest concern in the United States. Over 10 million people in America are facing problems due to seasonal depression. According to research, about 5% of American adults face the problems of SAD which include depression, fatigue, weight gain, and loss of libido.
Moreover, the research on seasonal depression at four latitudes (Rosen a. al, 1990) says that the intensity of SAD is found to be significantly higher in a northern latitude. This is relevant to the current cold wave in northeastern areas.
What are the causal factors behind SAD?
The reasons behind Seasonal Affective Disorder can be divided into two major sections.
In common words, it can be described as ‘The Biological Clock of the human body. The human body has an internal 24-hour clock that is responsible for the sleep-wake cycle. In the winter season, the temperature is comparatively low and there is inadequate sunlight. This lack of sunlight causes a drop in serotonin and melatonin levels, which consequently triggers depression. Serotonin is responsible for the regulation of anxiety, happiness, and mood, while melatonin is responsible for the balance of sleep patterns and mood.
It is likely to be an issue with SAD patients that there is a high chance of family history affecting the SAD situations. If the members of a family are already affected by SAD or any other sort of depression, there are higher chances of the members being diagnosed with SAD. Additionally, if the person is already a patient o f major depression or other psychological disorders, it may worsen the situation in SAD.
How can SAD be treated?
SAD can be treated and cured if the patients can re-establish their lost biological rhythm. Therapeutic use of light for the treatment and medications are some valuable therapies for SAD. But the most important and effective therapy can only be Talk therapy and mental support from loved ones.
Also Read: 7 Ways To Manage SAD