Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Senior Home Care in Hoffman Estates

The shorter days of winter can be hard anywhere you live in the country. Sunshine and blue skies not only make a day more pleasant, they also help prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder, often called SAD. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression related to changes in seasons. For most people, it begins to hit hard once the daylight hours are reduced due to the tilt of the earth. Because of that, it’s more common in areas farther away from the equator, since those living in those areas are most affected by days that have daylight hours reduced significantly each winter.

If you or your senior home care team noticed your loved one struggles each winter, it may not simply be a case of the blues. He might have SAD, and it should be considered a serious disorder that can and should be treated. You can work with your loved one and his doctor to help him through the darker months.

While the symptoms of SAD are similar to many depression symptoms, the key is that they usually start mild as the season begins, and then gradually get worse as the season progresses. It should be noted that some people actually get SAD during the opposite months – spring and summer – but most struggle with it during the fall and winter months.

Here are symptoms to look for if you think your loved one has Seasonal Affective Disorder.

• He loses interest in things and activities that he usually enjoys. If your loved one loves watching the games on TV with his senior home care provider, but then never wants to watch them in the winter, it might be SAD.

• He is extremely low energy and sluggish, perhaps laying around all day. If you live somewhere where the temperatures also drop during the winter months, it can seem tempting to bury oneself under a blanket for the entire day. But repeatedly refusing to move or get exercise can be a symptom of SAD.

• If all your loved one wants to eat heavy carbs and fatty foods, he might be trying to find comfort in his food, and the Seasonal Affective Disorder may affect his food choices.

• He has a hard time concentrating or completing tasks. If your loved one is constantly starting things only to lose interest right away, or is finding it too difficult to concentrate on the task at hand, it might be because of the disorder.

• He feels worthless, hopeless, and/or guilty. These strong negative emotions often come on with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

If your loved one suffers from SAD, his doctor might prescribe some light therapy to help alleviate his symptoms, or offer some supplements for Vitamin D or Melatonin. Likewise, you and your senior home care provider can help by gently getting your loved one outside as much as possible and getting exercise. Both the sun and fresh air can help reduce symptoms.

If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring Senior Home Care in Hoffman Estates, IL, please contact the caring staff at A Mishle Group Services, Inc. today. at (630) 888-6644

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