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The True Effects Of Living With Seasonal Affective Disorder In The Winter Months

“For me personally, it makes me want to hide out in my bed a lot more, as the idea of going outside is not something I want to contend with.”

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January Blues is a term that we’re probably all familiar with. Christmas can be an immensely stressful period and the aftermath can leave people feeling down for a long list of reasons.

A new survey has revealed the true impact that winter can have on a person’s mood – revealing that just 5% of people will be at their happiest throughout the colder months.

2,000 people were quizzed in the survey which was commissioned by Holiday Gems.

The findings are part of a larger study into feelings post-Christmas and the affects of Seasonal Affective disorder – a mental illness which affects one in 15 people.


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SAD can cause feelings of desperation and despair but only 11% of people know about the condition, despite so many people in Britain suffering from it.

Other key findings from the survey include:

  • 58% of people said the cold weather makes them unhappy.
  • 60% of people said the dark mornings can make them feel down.
  • 57% of people said they feel less productive and motivated throughout the months of November to February.
  • 27% of people said they get less sleep in this period.
  • 57% of people said the lack of sunlight also made them feel down.

Speaking honestly about the condition, Olivia, who is a lifestyle and mental health blogger suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder and has provided some insight into what it’s like to live with SAD.

“The day of the year I dread more than most the day the clocks go back and most recently that was on the 28th October 2018. I didn’t mind the extra hour in bed, or that day, in general. It was a pretty good Sunday. But the loss of light which was ahead was stuck in my head. Knowing that it wouldn’t be until March when those long nights became longer days all over again.

Sat my desk that day, knowing when I started it was only just getting light and when I finish the light will be completely gone. Limiting myself to going out in the evenings because the dark is something I fear. The person I become not having those extra hours of light struggles through
the next few months.

SAD, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a type of depression which comes and goes throughout a seasonal pattern. Most of us struggle with change which is out of our control, but this goes deeper than that. The change for most of us who struggle with SAD is unbearable.

The lack of light makes us a shadow of who we were in the summer. SAD doesn’t just affect people who struggle with the winter months, it can be the same for the summer months too.

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SAD is a lot more than just feeling down due to the weather and I think people play down how hard it really is to cope during this time. It zaps all of my energy, makes me struggle to stay awake and the darkness which is upon us makes my mood drop considerably. From the bright
long days almost instantly down to the shorter days with next to no light. It’s weird how something such as the amount of light given in a day can affect your mood in such a way.

Seasonal Affective Disorder brings out the worst parts our depression and there’s nothing we can do about it. For me personally, it makes me want to hide out in my bed a lot more, as the idea of going outside is not something I want to contend with.

I think things such as having a routine in place, making plans for those longer days and getting a SAD lamp can be great additions to help with combating SAD for those, like me, who suffer from it.”

Are you struggling with your mental health? You can find support online at CALM or use the CALM helpline.


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