Is the weather change affecting you? You are not the only one!

Copyright: stephaniefrey / 123RF Stock Photo

It has being more than 100 years since the DST was implemented for the first time and around 70 countries in the word are participating in this practice. Many agree that Germany was the first country to implemented in a national level, during the WW1, but this concept was mentioned and used before. The goal of the DST is to use more of the natural light during the evening and save energy needed in artificial light during this time of the day.

While many studies many studies may or may not agree on how the DST actually shows positive outcome in energy saving, some other studies have focused their effort in how it affects the human body and its implication on mental health, linking DST to an increase on some health threats due to disrupting circadian rhythm in our bodies and also affects our mental health as a depression trigger.

The Mayo Clinic, on it article Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) explains this type of depression and its relationship to the circadian rhythm (our biological clock), serotonin levels, and melatonin levels, all linked to the sunlight reduction.

Kate Horowitz, on her article “Is Daylight Saving Time to Blame for Seasonal Depression?” cited a Danish study that reflects the numbers:

“…an international team of researchers looked at Danish hospital intake records from 1995 to 2012, including 185,419 diagnoses of depression.

As expected, they saw an increase in hospital admissions for depression as winter descended. But that increase spiked at one particular time: the month immediately following the changing of clocks.

The researchers controlled for variables like day length and weather, which they say confirms that the 8 percent rise in depression diagnoses was not a coincidence.”

Copyright: bialasiewicz / 123RF Stock Photo

Symptoms of  SAD are similar to to generalized depression,The Mayo Clinic mentioned specific symptoms associated to each, winter-onset SAD and summer-onset SAD, where main changes are noted in the appetite, weight control, sleeping pattern and energy/mood states.

While it hits harder on people with severe depression, and factors like family history, age, living far from the ecuador and some mental disorders, according to Kate Horowitz around 1.6 billion people across the globe is affected by SAD.

It is recommended to see a doctor when depression symptoms are severe. Treatments to fight SAD can go from medication to Light Box and other therapies. But there are things that you can do by yourself to prevent or improve your mood change. It is widely recommended to exercise. It helps relieve stress and anxiety, also fights the weight gain associated with this type of depression, and in many cases, getting fit makes you feel good about yourself and improve your mood. Go outside and get some sunshine and let the sun light get in at your spaces. Create brighter environments. Socialize: share your feelings, have support and shared a laugh. Relax: show yourself some love by listening to music, making a trip, or getting a hot bath tub and adding aromatherapy.

SAD is very common, but can be treated and controlled.