Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Everyone feels better when the sun shines but when summer changes to autumn, the clocks go back, the evenings draw in, it can significantly affect your mood and energy levels. As the hours of daylight reduce the body clock (circadian rhythm) slows down and sufferers experience depressive symptoms and notice they want to eat more carbohydrates and sleep longer in winter months.

Approximately 10% of the population is affected by SAD; for most, symptoms are mild and prevalent between December, January and February with symptoms disappearing with the onset of spring. A small percentage of people are seriously affected to the point everyday tasks just become impossible.

Common symptoms include an inability to concentrate, feeling empty and depressed, overeating, sleep disorders, increased alcohol consumption and an inability to cope with everyday stresses. The luxury of a winter holiday in the sun not surprisingly helps alleviate SAD but curiously sufferers, returning home to a cold, dark climate find their symptoms become much worse.

The only intervention doctors seem to have is to recommend light therapy and in severe cases prescribe antidepressants. Antidepressants, while effective, are not a cure but ease some of the symptoms by altering brain chemistry and can take up to six weeks to be effective. The downside is all antidepressants have side effects and for some, so does light therapy.

How can hypnosis help?

Hypnosis helps people recognise and overcome negative thought patterns, enabling them to cope better and become more optimistic during winter months. Put simply, hypnosis helps you put spring back into your step!