St. Jude Radiothon 2024

Has this year been an emotional roller coaster for you?  Bad relationship ended? Stressful job? Drama-filled life? Feeling lonely? As we stroll through the holiday season, for every person who’s a holiday lover, there’s one who dreads the holiday season.

Fall is a marked reminder that summer has ended and is the gateway to “Holiday Blues;” which is related to psychosocial factors such as financial position, increased family responsibilities, loneliness, decreased activity, expectations that one “should” feel and do good, and possible unresolved conflicts with family and relationships.

A more serious depressive disorder seen in some who suffer the “Holiday Blues;” is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or simply put SAD which is bought on by a lack of sunlight, and causes depression as the days get shorter, colder and oddly enough marked with more routine. SAD is estimated to affect36 million Americans, which is about 5% of the population and 80% of the affected population is women, mostly in their 20′s to 40′s.

SAD is also related loosely to a not so clinical problem called “Winter Holiday Affective Disorder” (WHAD) which,is like SAD but with less severity in symptoms and duration. Those who suffer from SAD show signs of: increase or decrease in sleepiness, increase or decrease in appetite, decreased sex drive and energy, anxiety, diminished concentration, headaches and even hormonal fluctuation, which are related to attitudinal changes. The theory that decreased sunlight during fall and winter leads to diminished production of serotonin in the brain; a neurotransmitter that has a calming, soothing effect could be the trigger for SAD.

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