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Am I Depressed Because of the Season?


Did you know seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects over 3 million people in the U.S. each year?


According to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), "SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain prompted by shorter daylight hours and less sunlight in winter. As seasons change, people experience a shift in their circadian rhythm that can cause them to be out of step with their daily schedule."


So if you've been feeling down lately, it could be due to the dropping temps and shorter days. SAD symptoms are similar to major depression symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. It's more common for women to experience SAD than men and typically starts between 18-30 years old, but it is treatable.


With the impact of COVID-19 and social distancing during the holiday season, be mindful of how your body and thoughts are communicating to you. Notice if your daily functioning and overall wellness have shifted in any of the following ways:

  • Feeling sad, worthless, guilty, or having a depressed mood

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed

  • Changes in appetite; usually overeating, craving carbohydrates and potential weight gain

  • Change in sleep; usually oversleeping

  • Low energy or increased fatigue despite increased sleep hours

  • Increase in unnecessary/random physical activity (e.g., inability to sit still, pacing) or slowed movements or speech (these actions must be severe enough to be observable to others)

  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating, or making decisions

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

Talk therapy and light therapy are the most common treatments for SAD, however massage therapy is always a great mood booster and can help with SAD symptoms. If you've been diagnosed with SAD or think you're suffering from it, seek professional help and consider visiting The Well Pasadena for a Swedish massage, which is known to increase happy hormones.



The Well Pasadena specializes in fitness training and holistic bodywork treatments including massage, stretch and cupping. We empower and educate clients to implement healthy lifestyle choices, practice mindful self-care habits and enhance their physical and mental wellness.



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