Seasonal Affective Disorder and Addiction
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects thousands of people each year. When SAD interacts with alcohol addiction or drug addiction, the vicious cycle of addiction and depression can take over your life. You don’t have to be trapped in a pattern of unhappiness anymore. There are real treatments for seasonal affective disorder and substance abuse that can get you back on your feet.
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs on a seasonal rotation, often during the low-sunshine seasons of fall and winter. Many scientists believe that SAD is impacted by the amount of sunlight a person is exposed to, but other doctors and scientists believe that SAD is impacted by influences such as diet, exercise, seasonal stress, or allergies. Like many other types of depression, seasonal affective disorder can affect every part of your life and cause the following problems:
- Sadness that lasts for two weeks or longer
- Consistent anxiety or worry
- Fatigue or bodily aches and pains
- Difficulty sleeping or problems with sleeping too much
- Weight loss or weight gain as a result of appetite changes
- Increases in drug use or alcohol use
- Problems concentrating or attending to daily tasks
Seasonal Affective Disorder and Substance Use
Seasonal affective disorder, major depression and depressive episodes can all lead to increased substance use. It can be very tempting to try to drink away the blues or medicate depression with drugs or other stimulating and addictive behaviors. Many people try to numb their depressive feelings through relationships, sexual activity, risky behaviors like gambling or financially devastating behaviors like compulsive shopping.
SAD can lead to a number of addictive troubles. Unfortunately, the more you abuse alcohol, drugs, or engage in compulsive activities, the more depressed you might feel. For instance, a person who drinks too much will feel tired and sad the next day as he recuperates. A person who shops too much, gambles or engages in risky behavior may have regrets which lead to greater depression. A person who uses drugs may become quickly dependent. All of these problems create bigger problems which lead to a devastating cycle.
Helpline for Addiction and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Please call us at our 24-hour, toll-free helpline to speak confidentially with a recovery professional. We can help you learn more about SAD and your depression symptoms, help you learn more about addiction and addiction treatment options and tell you more about integrated treatment: a new type of recovery treatment that helps you recover from addiction and emotional struggles at the same time, in the same location. Let us help you understand your insurance coverage for treatment, find a treatment program that works and more. Call now to learn how we can help you.