Autumn is the season of harvest, bright fall colors, sweaters, and pumpkin spice lattes. It is also a reminder that winter is right around the corner. As the amount of sunlight continues to decrease, one might notice her or his energy decreasing as well. This noticeable drop in energy is not uncommon for us living north of the equator. Many also report an increase in sadness, carbohydrate and sweet cravings, as well as withdrawing from physical and social activities.
If you have noticed a few of these changes, you are not alone. Some may refer to the changes in mood that align with the seasons, seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is hard to know the prevalence of SAD due to unreported cases, undiagnosed SAD, or the co-occurrence of SAD symptoms with other health conditions; however, an article in 2015 written by Sherri Melrose estimated that 9% of Alaskan residents have a SAD diagnosis compared to 1% of Florida residents. The data reported by this article supports the theory that regions in the northern latitude have a higher prevalence of SAD, and sadly, that includes us Minnesotans. Continue reading “Decrease in daylight can cause anxiety about seasonal changes”