Living with seasonal affective disorder isn’t easy. In fact, this disorder can cause a number of problems in everyday life. Because of the seriousness of this condition, it’s important for people to seek Houston seasonal affective disorder therapy. Below is more information about this disorder and the problems that it can cause.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

A woman somberly looks out a window as she ponders if she may need a Houston seasonal affective disorder therapy psychiatristSeasonal affective disorder is a specific type of depression that usually occurs during winter. Typically, the depression fades once spring arrives, only to reoccur later in the year as winter sets in again.

Anyone can develop seasonal affective disorder, but women are more likely to suffer. People are more at risk of developing it if the disorder runs in their families. This type of depression also appears to happen more during months when daylight hours are the shortest.

What Causes the Onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Unfortunately, experts still don’t know what causes some people to develop this disorder but not others. They believe, however, that it has something to do with their biological clock, which manages waking and sleeping patterns. It’s possible that seasonal affective disorder starts when something upsets the internal clock.

Others believe that seasonal affective disorder happens because of a problem with serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that regulates mood. Unhealthy eating and drug use can cause negative changes in serotonin levels.

What is the Difference Between SAD and Depression?

Depression occurs year-round while seasonal affective disorder only occurs during certain seasons, especially winter. In fact, those who suffer from SAD typically start to feel the disorder’s symptoms in late fall or early winter. Then, when springtime rolls around, the symptoms disappear. In order for a psychiatrist to diagnose a patient with SAD, the patient must have suffered from SAD symptoms for two years.

That said, make no mistake: seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression, and a major one at that.  Those who suffer from SAD can experience low energy, feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, trouble sleeping, changes in weight or appetite, and an overall “sluggish” feeling just like those who suffer from year-round depression.  Like those with year-round depression, SAD patients also often encounter thoughts of death and suicide.

For this reason, you must not downplay any of these symptoms as just having “winter blues.” You must take them seriously and reach out to a depression psychiatrist in Houston who offers seasonal depression treatment. Only by seeking help can you alleviate the debilitating pull that seasonal affective disorder afflicts on those who suffer from it.

Temperature or Sunshine?

Despite popular belief, temperatures have nothing to do with seasonal affective disorder. Since this disorder happens mostly during the winter, some people believe that a drop in temperature triggers depression. Because of that, some doctors believe that moving to a warm climate fixes the problem.

However, seasonal affective disorder has more to do with daylight. Winter has shorter days than the summer, which is why this disorder occurs more during the winter. Also, people who have limited exposure to the sun are more likely to develop this disorder.

Interestingly, having depression for one winter doesn’t mean that people have seasonal affective disorder. It takes two consecutive seasons before doctors can diagnosis it.

What to Look for in Houston Seasonal Affective Disorder Therapy

When people look for a Houston seasonal affective disorder therapy psychiatrist, they need to keep a few things in mind. First, they have to look for a place that offers customized therapy plans. When their therapy schedule caters to their needs, they have the best chance of overcoming the disorder.

It’s also important that they look for places that offer family therapy. It’s difficult for many families to understand certain disorders. Family therapy acts as a type of education course that helps them better understand the condition.

Lastly, people need to look for places that offer their own psychiatric evaluation process. Needs change over time, so it’s important to visit a place that can detect these changes. The clinic should also adjust therapeutic plans accordingly. All of the best Houston seasonal affective disorder therapy programs offer flexibility.

Visit PACE Mental Health Houston for Therapy Today

Seasonal affective disorder disrupts people in different ways. It’s important to find a place where you can get therapy that you can count on. PACE Mental Health Houston offers psychiatric evaluations and consultations for everyone that we treat. In fact, we offer therapy for a number of disorders, including:

PACE Mental Health Houston creates personalized therapeutic plans for each person. We include a mix of many services, including dialectical behavior therapy. We also offer dual diagnosis therapy, family therapy, individual therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Find a Houston seasonal affective disorder therapy psychiatrist you can count on. Reach out to PACE Mental Health Houston today. You can reach our friendly staff at 866.971.8423 for more information.