by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Numerous studies have concluded that women with PCOS are at a higher risk for depression and anxiety. Although there haven’t been any studies done specifically looking at PCOS and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) together, I do wonder if there is a connection.For as long as I can remember, I have felt more balanced, bright, happy and elated during the spring and summer months, when life is spent outside in the sunshine. I used to dread the winter blues that would inevitably come to visit in January. Being a New Englander, after the holidays, I tend to cozy up by the warm fire and stay in my “cave” until the spring thaw. This lack out outdoor time and sunshine may lead to SAD.
Symptoms of SAD may vary depending on the person, but the common symptoms are, anxiety, irritability, withdrawal, depression, lack of energy, loss of libido, difficulty concentrating, increased desire to sleep, increased appetite (especially for carbohydrates), and an increase in PMS symptoms. It is estimated that 35 million Americans (more women than men) have SAD, a form of depression during the fall and winter months. When the days grow longer in the spring the symptoms disappear and remain dormant until next fall. Interestingly, longer nights in the fall and winter encourage our brains to produce more melatonin (the darkness hormone) at the expense of serotonin (the feel-good hormone).Our bodies want to stay in sync with the natural cycles of the seasons, but our busy lifestyles don’t allow for us to wait until the sun rises to get up in the morning and go to bed shortly after it sets, so when the days are shorter we experience a sort of non-stop jet lag. Getting more light may be the key to feeling better at this time of year. If you feel like you have jet-lag from October to March, you may be suffering from SAD. Here are some ways that you can lessen the symptoms.
For more complete information,read my article, Does PCOS Make Us SAD?