What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a mental health condition that often presents itself in a seasonal pattern. In many cases of SAD, the symptoms often occur through the winter months, and reduce throughout the summer months. Less commonly there are a few cases where the symptoms of SAD occur throughout the summer months and ease during the winter months.
Symptoms of SAD
The symptoms of SAD may overlap the symptoms of other mental health conditions so it is always important to consult a professional with any concerns. The most common symptoms of SAD are:
- A low mood that is persistent
- Easily irritated or frustrated
- Lost of interest in everyday activities
- Feeling lethargic
- Weight gain
Causes of SAD
The causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder are not fully understood, and can sometimes be confused with depression. SAD is thought to be linked to the reduced exposure to sunlight, this is because a reduction in sunlight is thought to affect a part of the brain called hypothalamus.
If the hypothalamus isn’t working properly, it is thought to impact:
- Melatonin production – melatonin is a hormone produced by the body to help initiate sleep. It is thought that those who suffer with SAD produce more melatonin.
- Serotonin Production – Serotonin is a hormone in the body that can have a big effect on mood. It is suggested that a reduced exposure to sunlight can negatively affect serotonin levels in the body which results into feelings of anxiety and depression.
- Body Clock – The human body uses sunlight to help time various functions that occur within the body. This can range from the time you wake up, the productivity of the day and the time that you go to sleep.
There are a handful of known treatments for SAD. These include counselling, anti-depressant medication, lightbox therapy and Vitamin D supplements. However, some people may choose to try a more natural alternative to medication, such as CBD.
How does CBD work with the body?
Understanding the process through which CBD goes into the body is critical. It can help to alleviate most of the mystery that surrounds CBD. There are numerous methods of taking CBD. No matter which way you use, the CBD relies on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the body. The role of the ECS in the body is to maintain homeostasis with the help of cannabinoids produced naturally by the body known as endocannabinoids.
The ECS comprises of two types of cell receptors in different locations around the body and enzymes. The cell receptors are where the CBD compound attaches itself and the enzymes help to break the complex compound into simpler natural chemicals that are absorbed all around the body.
When CBD is consumed, it works with the endocannabinoid system to bring balance to the body. It is thought that the use of CBD helps to regulate the serotonin levels in the body, which as a result may help to improve mood, whilst potentially reducing the risk of anxiety and depression. Those who suffer from SAD are thought to have low serotonin levels.
CBD products are often blended with key ingredients to help support a specific need within the body. The effects of SAD are thought to be linked to Vitamin D deficiency within the body, which can also be caused by reduced sunlight exposure. Companies such as Goodbody Wellness offer a tincture blended with Vitamin D, which could potentially help to reduce Vitamin D deficiency within the body.
Furthermore, there are a huge range of CBD products available that are blended with essential ingredients to help support sleep. These ingredients range from zinc, passionflower, and chamomile and are offered by well known CBD brands such as CBD FX, Canabidol, and Somnio CBD. Helping to improve the sleep cycle could potentially reduce the risk of low mood caused by lack of sleep, whilst aiding the body’s natural sleep cycle.
Overall, the symptoms of SAD can very from person to person. If you are feeling low or believe that you may be suffering from SAD or any other form of mental illness, it is very important to reach out to a healthcare professional. There are many resources available for those who are suffering from a mental illness.