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Seasonal changes can affect your mood. During the four different seasons, we may experience a change in our mood depending on the amount of sunlight exposure and movement we initiate. The body produces serotonin during the seasons with more sunlight and less serotonin during the seasons with less sunlight. One of the negative effects of how the seasons change your mood is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), while another is Autumn Anxiety. Positive effects of seasonal change are the healing to Seasonal Affective Disorder and Autumn Anxiety.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD):

This disorder typically appears during late fall or early winter and disappears when the sunnier days of spring and summer appear. Depending on the individual, the symptoms could be more serious than others. The symptoms include but are not limited to feeling depressed every day, having low energy, trouble sleeping, experience changes in appetite or weight, feeling hopeless and having difficulty concentrating. There is a difference between Fall/Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder and Spring/Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder. Fall and Winter Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms include oversleeping, weight gain and tiredness or low energy. Spring and Summer Seasonal Affective Disorder include insomnia, weight loss and agitation/anxiety. It is normal to have down days here and there, but it is important to see a doctor if these down days become your every day.

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Autumn Anxiety:

This disorder typically appears in an individual in the beginning of Fall and lasts throughout the season.  Unlike most anxiety disorders, this one does not have an obvious external trigger. Most of the time it is unknown why an individual will suffer from anxiety and, unfortunately, this disorder returns annually. Symptoms of Autumn Anxiety are low mood or depression, anxiety and excessive worrying, irritability, an individual may become very lethargic, overwhelmed with sleepiness, and fatigue and, finally, loss of interest in daily routine/activities. If any of these symptoms continue for extended periods of time for you or anyone you know, refer to a doctor for necessary treatment.

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Positive Moods of Seasonal Change:

The brightness of Summer and Spring days help with the producing of serotonin levels in the body. Serotonin is also known as the happy hormone and helps promote the feeling of well-being. To help the body produce this hormone you can allow sunlight into your home, get moving through exercise or just a casual walk, eat right and make time to hang out with friends and loved ones. Even though the Autumn and Winter seasons are often gray in color outside, you can still allow the natural lighting to help the serotonin levels. Eating right helps the body feel better and in turn can make you feel better. All in all, find ways to boost serotonin levels in your body and mind. If you are struggling mentally, reach out to medical professional to get the necessary help that you need to feel better.

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