Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern which tends to occur at the same time each year, usually during the winter time leading to it also being known as “Winter Depression.”
The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter and become most pronounced during December, January and February.
In most cases the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder begin to improve in the spring before eventually disappearing.
As with other types of Depression, the two main symptoms of SAD are a low mood and a lack of interest in life.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
As with all forms of depression, the main symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder include a low mood and a loss of interest in normal everyday activities.
Other symptoms can include:
- feeling irritable
- feelings of despair
- feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- low self esteem
- crying, often spontaneously
- feeling stressed
- low sex drive
For many people, Seasonal Affective Disorder can be difficult to live with and it can have a significant effect on day-to-day life.
If you think that you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or any other Depression related problem, we urge you, in the first instance, to consult your Doctor prior to consulting for Psychotherapy.
What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The exact cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder isn’t fully understood, but it has been suggested that it is linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year.
One theory is that light stimulates a part of the brain called the hypothalamus, which controls mood, appetite and sleep.
Whilst this seems like a reasonable idea it doesn’t explain why some people are affected by the dark winter nights and others (in fact the majority) are not.
Seasonal Affective Disorder may be impacted as much by limiting beliefs as by the reduced amount of sunlight, indeed, SAD may be the product of unhelpful thinking in itself!
Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment
Seasonal Affective Disorder, in common with many other problems and conditions, is often made worse by “un-helpful” thinking traits or “distorted” belief systems. (The way we perceive the World around us).
The limiting beliefs associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder may have been created by an actual negative experience that has now been “blown out of proportion” or indeed may be the result of “imagined experiences” which can lead to the same outcome – the experience of Anxiety related symptoms.
If we can learn how to manage these limiting beliefs or cognitive distortions using the tools and techniques contained in therapies such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, then we can also learn how to control the emotional experiences that we have – ie. manage the symptoms.
It is also possible that people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder may have some other emotional or childhood trauma problems that are indirectly related to the problem itself but still create Anxiety and Stress which make the symptoms worse.
In these cases, as it is may be more difficult to identify the distorted thinking or limiting beliefs associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder itself and therefore following a course of Psycho-dynamic Therapy may be more beneficial.
Psychological Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Tranceform Psychology can offer a range of different psychological therapy solutions for Seasonal Affective Disorder which you can read about below.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder
If you’re committed to overcoming your Seasonal Affective Disorder problems then we highly recommend following our Tranceformental CBT 10 session programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
The programme is also available as an online self-help CBT programme.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an empirically supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Teach Yourself CBT and Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder for only £149!
Our online CBT course has been designed to teach you the fundamental tools and techniques of clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy without having to see a therapist.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, this self-managed course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your problems without having to visit a therapist.
Click Self-Help CBT to find out more.
Alternative Therapies for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Although our preferred form of psychotherapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder is Tranceformental CBT we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
Free Initial Consultations for Seasonal Affective Disorder
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your Seasonal Affective Disorder prior to commencing any treatment plans.
The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.
During this consultation we will discuss the various therapy options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available as part of our online therapy service.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss any therapy treatments BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Problems with our CBT Course
Our 10 session course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective across a range of different psychological problems.
Using an online learning platform, it is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support either face-to-face in the Wombourne offices, or using Zoom video facilities.
It can also be taken as a self help CBT course that will teach you the fundamental tools and techniques used throughout the mental health profession.