“Let the daylight in”: Seasonal affective disorder

by Juan Contreras | October 2021

As the earth takes its natural journey in the solar system, the consequences of its course are felt all around. With the recent autumn equinox following winter, we will continue to see changes in daylight and weather. The weather itself might reduce our outdoor time, which we might notice right away as we begin avoiding taking walks outside in the cold. The daylight may shift or even influence our mental state and alter our perception of the day. Additionally, the start of fall might also indicate the start of a new quarter or semester at school, a particularly busy time at work, or higher commute times due to traffic. That said, changes will come and we can reflect on a couple of things, specifically our mental well being.

In the last week or so, many of my clients have noticed changes in their mental state, primarily with their mood on cloudy days. They notice a decrease in energy or even have noticed some changes in motivation to get things done like work tasks, gym routines, or even go out with friends. These experiences align with Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD; in fact, these behaviors and experiences might become much more prevalent as winter approaches. 

While it’s interesting to reflect on the earth’s natural changes, we must also acknowledge the toll it might take on our mental health. We must not minimize the seriousness of individuals’ experiences with season changes and their experiences with SAD. If you noticed these changes and are actively participating in therapy, share your experiences with your therapist to start working on a treatment plan. If you don’t have a therapist, I will encourage you to begin a therapeutic relationship with one to manage this real experience.


While our offices are located in the South Loop neighborhood of Downtown Chicago, Illinois, we also welcome and serve clients for online therapy from anywhere in Illinois. Clients from the Chicagoland area may choose in-office or online therapy and usually commute from surrounding areas such as River North, West Loop, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lake View, Rogers Park, Logan Square, Pilsen, Bridgeport, Little Village, Bronzeville, South Shore, Hyde Park, Back of the Yards, Wicker Park, Bucktown and many more. You can visit our contact page to access detailed information on our office location & how to get started with family conflict treatment in Chicago.



   
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