Picture this: dark skies, the rain falling on the roof in a gentle rhythm, your window panes peppered with raindrops sliding down the glass intermittently like comets streaking across the sky. Something about the whole thing makes you want to dig up those poignant memories, or tune in to sad, sappy songs on the radio. Some may call it a touch of melancholy, but experts have given this weather-driven mood swings a name: Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
SAD is a depression disorder linked to the change in seasons, which women, who are naturally in touch with their emotions and prone to hormonal changes, are more likely suffer three times more than men. Though SAD is not limited to rainy weather, this disorder is only experienced by a minority during the summer.
According to psychologytoday.com, 10 million Americans are affected with SAD, with 10 – 20% experiencing its mild version, commonly felt by those below 20 years old when it rains.
Meanwhile, Dr. Concepcion Sy, a Clinical Psychologist, says it is rare for Filipinos to experience extreme SAD. Usually, Overseas Filipinos experience this disorder more frequently, especially during the Ber months. The cold weather, along with hormonal changes during menopause or menstrual-related events, may trigger emotions associated with emotional isolation and mild depression.
Here are some other common symptoms of SAD:
• Increase in appetite
• Preference to be left alone
• Lack of focus
When the emotions become too overwhelming, Dr. Sy recommends seeking psychological help. Its mild version, however, may be managed by socializing with friends, or for by being productive.
Even if the weather hinders you from leaving your home, you can still connect with loved ones through social media sites, and the telephone. Sometimes, a simple conversation or a simple task such as decluttering your room can go a long way in chasing those rainy day blues away.