Could the Pandemic worsen Seasonal Affective Disorder?


Seasonal Affective Disorder (‘SAD’) is a disorder that affects the mentality and mood of people during the winter months, people who only have depressive episodes during the winter months of year most likely have seasonal depression which is fairly common. However, this year ‘SAD,’ could affect more people than ever due to the pandemic. SAD may impact the way people experience and view life in many different ways. The most common symptoms are a persistent low mood and a lack of energy. Those suffering from the condition often end up sleeping more than the average person, and those with severe symptoms can end up cutting themselves off from society and becoming less willing to surround themselves with their loved ones. Doctors have discovered that the small amount of daylight during these winter months, and nights becoming dark earlier, can disrupt your body clock and, therefore, your everyday life. This can all lead to a feeling of depression.


This year more people than ever are predicted to be affected by this disorder due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The stress caused by the pandemic, for example the uncertainty that people are living with, may be worsening the symptoms of ‘SAD’ and could potentially be affecting more people. Having to stay at home, and having to isolate for long periods, means that people will have a lack of time outside in natural daylight, which can eventually lead to disruption in our body clocks. Symptoms of SAD are likely to worsen, and the disorder is likely to become more widespread. With annual winter outings being cancelled, people’s mental health may be worsening. To counteract the risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder developing, or to lessen existing symptoms, here are several suggestions for people to consider: exercising regularly, eating mindfully, staying connected with friends and family, keeping a daily routine and maintaining hobbies where possible.