Do you feel like your significant other suddenly becomes more distant and moody once the days get shorter and leaves start to fall from the trees?
It might not be your imagination. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a real condition that affects somewhere between 10 to 12 million Americans, and just like more common types of depression, it can really strain your relationship.
Some of the things that you can expect if your loved one is experiencing SAD are:
- Trouble concentrating
- Poor sleep
- Decreased activity level
- Crying spells
- Body aches
- Loss of sex drive
- Overeating and associated weight gain
Doesn’t sound fun, does it? The best thing you can do if you believe your partner is going through seasonal depression is to show understanding and ease their burden as much as you can. But if they truly have Seasonal Affective Disorder and not just the “winter blues,” there are other kinds of treatment available for them as well.
Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Generally speaking, there are three kinds of treatment that can help people suffering from SAD.
Phototherapy. One of the main things associated with SAD is a minimal exposure to light – especially sunlight – and low vitamin D levels. Because of this, many people have had success using light therapy. Patients are exposed to natural or artificial light for a specified period every day to improve their mood. Within 2 to 4 days of starting treatment, 80% of people suffering from SAD felt better.
Getting Out of Dodge. If shorter days, falling leaves, and cool temperatures put your partner in a bad mood, one simple solution is to go somewhere else. You can either plan vacations around this time to escape to better climates or simply up and move to a place where they won’t have to deal with seasonal changes in the same way. Of course, there are few places in the United States with better winter weather than Texas, but for those who are severely affected, there are options below the equator.
Going to Counseling. Regular counseling and therapy can help to alleviate feelings associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder in the same way that it can benefit people suffering from other forms of depression.
Sometimes simply talking about your feelings with your loved one can go a long way towards improving your mood and your relationship, and that’s where Houston marriage counseling comes in. If you want to understand your partner’s mood shifts better and learn what you can do to help, give us a call.