Winter Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Winter season is coming up and that is the time when someone can start to suffer from a problem that is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also referred to as Winter Depression. This condition is much more common in northern Europe than in Malta. Somebody who suffers from Winter Depression would experience low mood, feelings of hopelessness, lack of energy and not being able to enjoy normal activities anymore. Other than in most  types of depression this would be accompanied by feeling the need to sleep more than usual and eating more than usual, especially things that contain a lot of sugar. While some people would end up with a full blown depressive disorder that would require psychiatric care, most people have a more mild version of it and would just feel gloomy or having problems with concentration at work. It is now believed that this problem is connected  to synchronisation problems of the internal biological clock system that regulates bodily functions throughout our days and nights. With the shortening of the days in winter time this internal clock can start running out of synch. So it is more the lack of hours of daytime light than low temperature or rainy days that cause this condition.