Born and raised in Chicago, Leo Guzman is used to changing seasons. But during his teenage years, as fall turned to winter, he noticed he was feeling “a little off.”
“I definitely feel the changes that the seasons bring,” said Guzman, who has been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder.
The Mayo Clinic describes seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as a type of depression specifically associated with seasonal changes that begin and end around the same time each year.
“For many people with SAD, symptoms begin in the fall and continue into the winter, sapping your energy and making you moody,” the clinic’s post said.
National consultation center Thrive Works The disorder, with symptoms such as hopelessness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, changes in eating patterns and loneliness, typically reaches its peak in November.
“This week in particular is the peak of SAD,” Logan Spicer, a licensed clinical professional counselor at Thriveworks, said of the two full weeks in November.
According to the Thriveworks report, this prediction was derived from analysis of Google Trends.
“According to our analysis, this year in 2023, seasonal depression is expected to peak throughout the second week of November,” the report states. “Historically, this is the time when people start looking for more information on the subject.”
“Currently, search trends in 2023 are expected to increase by 33.34% compared to 2021, and by 2.44% compared to the previous year in 2022,” the report added.
Experts say there are several ways to combat the disease, including avoiding alcohol, setting a regular sleep schedule, getting plenty of natural light, and exercising.
“I make it a point to walk for 15 minutes, no matter how cold or cold it is,” Guzman said. “Just do it.”
Other tips for combating SAD include setting up social activities, writing in a journal, and using a SAD lamp, Thriveworks said.
“Be social even if you don’t want to,” Spicer said.