On the 27th October the clocks go back, our afternoons and mornings becoming darker. According to the NHS, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern. The cause of this disorder is not fully understood although it is thought that it may be linked to reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter days of the year.
A lack of light affects the levels of two very important chemicals that are produced by our brains; Melatonin and Serotonin.
Melatonin is produced when it gets dark and makes us sleepy – it is how our body knows it is night time and that we should go to sleep. When the nights get in, we produce more Melatonin which makes us feel drowsy and encourages us to sleep more. People who suffer with SADS produce much higher than normal levels of this hormone.
Sunlight affects the production of Serotonin so as the days get shorter, we start producing less Serotonin. Serotonin is actually believed by most to be a neurotransmitter not necessarily a chemical and is responsible for maintaining a healthy state of mind. Serotonin is what helps us feel motivated, enthusiastic, happy and in control of our life and has a big effect on our mood and behaviour. It also has an effect on our appetite, sleeping pattern, memory and learning ability. People with depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder, produce much lower than average serotonin levels. hypnotherapy helps stimulate the production of serotonin.
There are a wide range of symptoms associated with depression including:
Depressed mood, feeling sad or empty, tearful
Diminished interest or pleasure in daily activities
Significant weight changes, change in appetite and cravings
Sleeping too much, sleep disturbances
Hand wringing, twitching, pacing, tapping foot, hair twiddling etc.
Fatigue, loss of energy
Feelings of worthlessness, helplessness, guilt
Diminished ability to think, lack of concentration, indecisiveness
Loss of libido
How can Hypnotherapy help? By re-framing your views and perception of this time of the year and creating a more positive and relaxed state of being. It can break the cycle of seasonal depression by lifting your mood and helping you focus on the positive aspects of your life. Studies have shown that self-induced changes of mood effect a person’s serotonin levels. With previous clients I have always first used Emotional Freedom technique (EFT) to check if there is a root cause for these feelings of low mood and/or depression as well as any other presenting issues perceived by the client to be associated with SADS.
Numerous clients believe that their problem is SADS but their low mood or other problems turn out to be related to something completely different and not SADS at all. I am happy to report that in each situation said clients experienced resolution and completely changed their quality of life for the better.