As the days shorten and the nights get cooler, the changes in season can affect more than just our sleep patterns. For some people, the changes in season can lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health effects. This condition, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, affects as much as 20 percent of Americans each year, especially in the Fall and Winter months. In some cases, this mood disorder can be debilitating or contribute to existing drug or alcohol abuse. While addiction treatment in Broward County can help to address this and other underlying causes of substance abuse, understanding this common mental health disorder is key to learning to cope.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a mood disorder tied to the daylight changes associated with the seasons. While the most common form of SAD affects people in the Fall and Winter months, some people also experience symptoms in the Spring and Summer. Temperature changes can also play a role for residents of colder climates, especially when heavy snow causes isolation and solitude.
The current theory regarding the cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder revolves two factors: interruptions in the circadian rhythm and reduced production of certain hormones within the brain. Specifically, serotonin and melatonin levels may drop during the darker months, causing symptoms like:
- Loss of interest and social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Excessive sleepiness
- Changes in appetite
For people with certain co-occurring mental health disorders, SAD can exacerbate existing symptoms. Those living with depression or bipolar disorder may be especially susceptible.
Seasonal Affective Disorder and Addiction Treatment in Broward County
Despite common misconceptions, substance abuse disorders are not an issue of morals or lack of will. Drug and alcohol addiction are often rooted in underlying trauma or mental health disorders which have otherwise not been properly managed. Self-medicating to escape difficult memories or emotional challenges only serves to bury these pains, allowing them to further fester and continue affecting one’s life.
Overcoming addiction is possible. Addiction treatment in Broward County offers the support and guidance necessary to learn the coping mechanisms and life skills necessary to achieve long-term recovery. Through comprehensive treatment programs addressing both the physical and psychological, Broward Recovery can help you reclaim control of your life.
If you are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder and addiction, the shame and fear of judgements based on social stigmas can make seeking help difficult, if not impossible. Broward Recovery offers affordable, judgement-free access to the medical and mental health support you need to break the chains of addiction.
Our recovery specialists understand that this disorder affects everyone differently. That’s why we use a personalized approach to addiction treatment in Broward County, addressing your specific challenges, empowering you with the tools necessary for your new healthier, sober life. Through holistic therapy options offering through outpatient programs, we make it easier to achieve and maintain recovery. Broward Recovery day or evening options means you can improve your quality of life while still seeing to your everyday responsibilities.