Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder During Another Pandemic Winter

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As we approach another pandemic winter, seasonal affective disorder is once again being compounded by COVID-19 anxiety for many Americans.
Share on Pinterest As we approach another pandemic winter, seasonal affective disorder is once again being compounded by COVID-19 anxiety. Yelizaveta Tomashevska/Getty Images Colder and darker days mean many Americans are beginning to feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

As we head into another pandemic winter, SAD can make it more difficult to manage COVID-19 anxiety.

Several coping mechanisms can help ease symptoms of both seasonal affective disorder and COVID-19 anxiety. As the days get darker and temperatures dip in most areas of the country, many Americans are beginning to feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. SAD is a type of depression that typically comes on in the fall and winter months. It leads to mood changes and other symptoms of depression. "It's an annual decrease in mood and can lead to feeling lethargic, difficulty sleeping, poor appetite, and weight loss" explained Adam Borland, PsyD, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic. "Some people experience agitation and anxiety, and it really stems from the change in weather, the lack of sunlight, and the cold dreariness in certain areas of the country." SAD is quite common. The National Institute of Mental Health reports millions of Americans have SAD, though many might not know they have it.

SAD and COVID-19: "A recipe for depressive episodes and heightened anxiety" Experts say, as we approach another pandemic winter, seasonal affective disorder is once again being compounded by COVID-19 anxiety for many Americans. "If we're already feeling down, then we add to it the prospect of another winter in which [COVID-19] is still an issue, that's a recipe for depressive episodes and for heightened anxiety and panic," Borland said. Most Americans are still reeling from the events of the past year and a half. The staggering death toll of more than 773,000 people has left countless grieving families in its wake. There's also the lasting effects of social isolation,…
Ashley Welch
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