Can Addiction Be Seasonal?
The Impact of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Depression is a genuine psychological issue that influences a huge number of individuals worldwide. There are a few types of gloom, each with its own extraordinary indications and symptomatic models. One of these is an occasional emotional issue.
Occasionally full of feeling problems (Miserable), otherwise called occasional melancholy, is a significant burdensome issue whose side effects change with the seasons.
Examination discoveries revealed by the American Mental Affiliation (APA) show that daylight causes a compound response in the mind that directs the mindset.
Diminished measures of daylight in pre-winter and all through the cold weather months can cause low disposition and other related manifestations of depression. As the measure of daylight increases in the spring and summer, these indications decline, frequently vanishing completely. Victims may feel like various individuals, contingent upon the season.
As indicated by the Mayo Center, Tragic influences roughly 1-2% of individuals, while 10-20% of the populace experiences a milder structure, regularly alluded to as the “winter blues”. It is more predominant in ladies and normally has its beginning during early adulthood. It can happen in youngsters and youths and is more averse to influencing more established grown-ups.
Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder
The exact cause is unknown, but research findings indicate that there are many possible factors, each related to a lack of sunlight. These may include changes in an individual’s circadian rhythm, a drop in serotonin levels (a neurotransmitter in the brain that affects mood), and an imbalance in melatonin levels, which also impacts mood and other depression symptoms. A less common form of the seasonal affective disorder is summer SAD. It is caused by longer days and increased amounts of daylight, higher levels of heat and humidity, and possibly even seasonal allergies.
Indications of occasional emotional problems are equivalent to those for depression. With Tragic, the seriousness of side effects is affected by the measure of daylight, bringing about a decline in the colder time of year, and abatement in the spring and summer.
Typical symptoms include a depressed mood, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, anger, irritability, anxiety, loneliness, difficulty concentrating, fatigue, low energy and changes in appetite, weight or sleep patterns. Suicidal thoughts are common among those experiencing SAD, and friends and family members should watch carefully for indicators of suicidal behaviour. Any mention of suicide should be taken very seriously before it is too late.
Because the symptoms lessen or disappear at certain times of the year, sufferers frequently dismiss their condition as not requiring intervention. That puts them at risk.
A treatment plan that includes counselling, light therapy, and/or medication is essential for anyone suffering from the seasonal affective disorder. Quality of life can be greatly improved for those suffering from this manageable illness.
SAD and Substance Use Disorder
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that there is a strong correlation between drug and alcohol abuse and mental illness. This link is well-established and supported by extensive research. When an individual is suffering from both, this is known as comorbidity or dual-diagnosis. The relationship between addiction and mental health issues is both complex and bidirectional. Individuals who are more likely to abuse substances are more susceptible to developing seasonal depression, and the reverse is also true.
As with other mental illnesses, individuals with the seasonal affective disorder frequently self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, particularly if they do not seek professional help. SAD often causes painful symptoms like feelings of hopelessness, overwhelming sadness, and suicidal behaviour. If medications are not prescribed, or if they are not used properly, sufferers are at increased risk of substance abuse.
Drugs and alcohol do not provide long-term relief, so SAD symptoms return as soon as the effects subside. This leads to repeated substance abuse, and more is required to achieve intoxication each time. This creates a cycle of recurring symptoms, and ongoing consumption of drugs and alcohol in response to those symptoms.
Eventually, physical and psychological dependence on the substance is formed, and the individual becomes addicted. Sadly, the depression symptoms remain untreated. In fact, drug and alcohol use exacerbates them.
The Impact of Substance Abuse on Seasonal Affective Disorder
Alcohol is the most common substance abused by individuals with SAD. Less sunlight, colder temperatures, and the stress of the holiday season all combine to make the effects of any mood disorder unbearable. Having a few drinks almost seems natural with the ready availability at work and home functions, but relief is not provided for long.
Marijuana, a depressive itself, is another drug frequently used by people with a mental illness to manage their condition. As with alcohol abuse, this is terribly ineffective as the depressed mood returns, intensified, as soon as intoxication subsides.
Using stimulants such as nicotine, cocaine or methamphetamines, has an equally detrimental effect. Individuals often use these to relieve feelings of lethargy and fatigue. As with other substances, as stimulants dissipate, an even greater feeling of depression sets in. They are also highly addictive.
Treatment of Co-occurring Disorders
Winter can be a challenging time for everyone, emotionally and physically. For those suffering from a mood disorder and addiction, it can be unbearable. The best hope for recovery is a treatment plan that addresses both conditions with an integrated approach.
Only treating the substance use disorder leaves the seasonal depression unmanaged. This can trigger a relapse, and continued consumption of drugs and alcohol. An untreated addiction may worsen depression symptoms, also resulting in substance abuse. A plan that addresses both conditions simultaneously is crucial for recovery.
Psychotherapy permits the person to work with an advisor to recognize and investigate thought examples and practices that exacerbate Dismally, and to grow new devices and procedures for overseeing stressors and symptoms. A type of this sort of treatment that has been discovered to be very emotional is Psychological Conduct Treatment (CBT).
Phototherapy, or light treatment, might be utilized by a clinical expert to mimic the impacts of daylight on serotonin and melatonin levels. What’s more, exercises that include getting regular light are emphatically prompted.
Drugs, especially explicit sorts of antidepressants that expand serotonin and melatonin levels in the body, just as nutrient D supplements, can be an important piece of treating both the substance use issue and Pitiful, these entirely reasonable however incapacitating conditions.
The initial step to accomplishing enduring alleviation is looking for help.