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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Recovery

It’s that time of year again, when the pumpkin spice lattes are flowing, winter coats abound, and there is an air of festive holiday cheer. It’s also that time, when the clocks have turned back, and days are shorter, which means less sunshine in our winter months. The temperatures drop, and leaving the house may seem a little harder than it did in the summer. It’s not uncommon for people to feel a little down in the dumps in the colder months. It is estimated that roughly 5 percent of Americans experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression most apparent in the fall and winter seasons.

For those who haven’t officially been diagnosed with SAD, a general feeling of being down and isolating behavior is quite common. In recovery, we have to stay on top of co-occurring disorders, and this includes SAD. It can be really easy for an addict or alcoholic who is feeling a little blue, to start spiraling. Depression is known to be an underlying mental health issue that people self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. This self-medication often leads to addiction, so it’s easy to see the concern with someone who already has addiction issues, and is now experiencing SAD. Addicts and alcoholics have a tendency to reach for whatever will make them feel better, and treating SAD with drugs or alcohol is no different.

If you are experiencing a change in mood, don’t ignore it. Reach out and ask for help. This could come from a therapist, doctor, or a trusted friend. Don’t keep your feelings to yourself, because doing so will only make them worse. You may be surprised to find that others are feeling the same way. In recovery, it is important to help and support one another through issues like these. By talking about them and continuing to connect with others, we are less likely to isolate, and hence, less likely to relapse. It sounds so simple to do, but when you aren’t feeling great, it can be difficult. No matter how low you are feeling, keep socializing and making the effort to involve yourself with others. These feelings will pass, and you will feel better.

You don’t have to fight depression and addiction on your own. Call the Serenity Recovery Center today, and get started on feeling better tomorrow. Detox is the first step toward healing your mind, body, and spirit, and we will help you begin your transition safely and comfortably. Give us a call, we are available 24/7 at 844-339-6964. You don’t have to feel this way any longer. Recovery is possible. Call us today.