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Why Seasonal Affective Disorder Affects Women Most

By Brandi Goodman 

Seasonal Affective Disorder, referred to as SAD, brings about depression during a season change. It is very common to experience this in the fall or winter when exercise tends to become limited, staying indoors is more likely, and the holiday to-do list lengthens. SAD actually affects women most. In fact, 4 out of 5 people suffering from seasonal depression are women. Here's why.

Women Tend to Be Organizers

Many women take on the role of planner and organizer during the holidays. With a large list of tasks to accomplish, it can quickly become burdensome. Having all of the work of the holiday tasks on your shoulders can make it easy to feel stressed and depressed that you don't have help. That is why many women start to experience symptoms of SAD around the holiday season in particular. 

Already-Fluctuating Hormones

Women already experience fluctuating hormones during each month. Estrogen and progesterone levels rise and fall regularly with our cycles. Cold weather and changes with the season can even impact these levels, causing worse symptoms than a female may usually experience. You may brush it off as PMS, but your depression and poor mood could be the culprit of these seasonal changes and additional hormone shifts that come on unexpectedly.

Additional Carbohydrate Cravings

Some women have reported additional carbohydrate cravings when cold weather hits. This is already a common experience during a monthly cycle. The desire for carbs can lead to overeating and taking in far more calories than your body requires. The excess sugar can also lead to fatigue. Both of these can lead to weight gain, which only worsens depression for many people. 

It's important to do your best to fight carb cravings and opt for a healthy snack instead. Try whole-grain bread, for example, instead of white. You can also opt for a sweet potato or try making a healthy alternative to your favorite dessert.

If you're a woman affected by seasonal depression, don't be afraid to reach out for help. Shorten your to-do list anyway you can, ask your friends and family for assistance when needed, and make sure you're talking to someone about how you're feeling. SAD doesn't have to keep you down the entire holiday season. Speak with a professional if lifestyle changes, such as adding in more exercise and eating healthier, do not improve your symptoms.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in American Fork, Utah.

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