The Connection Between Seasonal Affective Disorder and Addiction

 

As the months grow colder, the days get shorter. The seasonal shift to wintertime includes changes that can result in the development of Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.

This disorder is a depressive disorder that affects individuals during specific times of the year. In the winter, SAD results in development of depressive symptoms [1], and these symptoms can create or worsen the challenges of addiction. At Banyan Treatment Center Massachusetts, we know that treating SAD and related addiction or alcoholism problems requires expert addiction treatment in Massachusetts. We can help treat addiction and alcoholism while giving patients the tools they need to cope with SAD in a healthy way.

What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

SAD is a problem faced annually by people living in latitudes most effected by seasonal changes. While there are still many studies analyzing the underlying causes of SAD, identified causes include [2]:

  • Shifts in the cardician rhythm
  • Melatonin secretion shifts
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Lack of sunlight
  • Genetics

While light therapy and other techniques are being tested to treat SAD, treating the depressive symptoms is also key. Without proper coping mechanisms, people may resort to drugs or alcohol to cope with SAD, resulting in a lasting addiction.

How is Seasonal Affective Disorder Linked to Addiction?

Depression and addiction are linked, existing as a dual diagnosis disorder for an estimated one in three adults [3]. Someone may begin feeling symptoms of SAD, such as feelings of worthlessness, depressed mood, or loss of pleasure or interest [2]. If this person does not have proper coping mechanisms, they may turn to drugs or alcohol to attempt to treat their feelings. This results in a dangerous cycle in which the symptoms of SAD perpetuate addiction, and the symptoms of addiction worsen the symptoms of SAD. Many people with SAD also have a dual diagnosis, such as alcoholism, anxiety, or addiction [2].

How Can SAD and Substance Abuse Be Treated?

SAD and substance abuse often go hand in hand, and successful treatment requires substance abuse treatment in Massachusetts. At Banyan Treatment Center Massachusetts, we provide drug and alcohol treatment, along with treatment for challenges related to SAD.

If you have been diagnosed with SAD, addiction, depression, or other co-occurring disorders, personalized substance abuse treatment in Massachusetts can help. Call 888-280-4763 for customized addiction treatment in Massachusetts.




Sources:
1- Cambridge, Seasonal affective disorder
2- David Avery, MD, Seasonal affective disorder: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis
3- J Clin Psychiatry, Recognition and treatment of depression in a primary care setting

 

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Tasha
Tasha
Tasha is a Digital Marketing Specialist at Banyan and is a contributor for Banyan's Blog Spot. She brings years of content writing and blogging to the team.