What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

As we talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder  (SAD) this week, it is important to know the causes and the risk factors for the disorder . There are three known causes of SAD:

  • Lack of sunlight

  • Low body temperature

  • Poor hormone regulation

Risk factors include:

  • Women are more at risk than men

  • If you have a history of Depression. However, it is important to note that Depression and SAD are two different disorders. You cannot be diagnosed with both. SAD happens in relation to the causes mentioned previously, whereas Depression is caused by multiple issues.

Because we specialize in relationships, many people ask us how SAD can affect relationships. Like Depression, or any untreated mental health diagnosis for that matter, it can cause many problems. People with SAD tend to withdraw from others. So one person in the relationship may feel they have done something wrong and pull away. It may cause more conflict. People who suffer from Depression often feel negative so they can actually hear things more negatively than someone else might have meant it. This can cause arguments and fights in relationships. Sometimes we see clients self medicate by using substances, food, sex,  or spending to feel better. This can cause multiple problems in a relationship. The person with SAD feels very unmotivated. This can cause problems as your partner may not see this as part of your disorder but simply you not doing your part.

As you can see, SAD can have many affects on a relationship. Tomorrow Joleen is going to tell us how SAD is treated and how you can get help.

Writeen by Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC, LCAC

*Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling.  We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville.