Why do you feel like you’re always tired and you never get to sleep?
That’s what some people experience during seasonal affective disorders, according to new research.
The study, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, found that the symptoms of seasonal affectives are common among people with depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
“Seasonal affectives can manifest in many ways, but the most common ones are in the form of fatigue, decreased energy and mood, decreased activity and quality of life, and loss of pleasure and enjoyment in everyday life,” study co-author Dr Roberta St. Vincent de Paul, from the University of Melbourne, said.
“They can also manifest as anhedonia, a loss of ability to feel pleasure and pleasure-seeking behaviors, and reduced appetite.”
Dr St. Vinay said that the main cause of seasonal affects was stress.
“While stress is a major cause of the illness, the main reason for the illness is stress,” she said.
This is one of the main reasons seasonal affectivity disorder is so common.
“Our findings highlight the importance of understanding how seasonal affectiveness can be a symptom of stress and stress-related illnesses,” Dr St.
Vincent de Paul said.
The findings also highlight the need to understand how stress and seasonal affectivities can interact to lead to seasonal affectative disorder.
For example, Dr St Vincent de Puy said that stress could lead to symptoms of depression, but not vice versa.
“There’s a huge overlap in symptoms and conditions, but there’s also a huge gap in understanding how these two conditions interact,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne.
The researchers found that seasonal affectivensity disorder symptoms were related to the type of stress experienced.
“It’s more common among individuals with stress, which may be due to a combination of the stress and the seasonal affectional disorder,” Dr S.V.P. said.
Dr S. V.P., who led the research, said the findings suggest that there are more common triggers of seasonal illness in people with seasonal affectatives than previously thought.
“I think we can now think about seasonal affectivation as a whole, rather than focusing on a particular illness,” she added.
“We need to take a look at what happens in the mind and body during the seasonal cycle.
We need a more holistic approach, rather a one-size-fits-all approach.”
The research was funded by the Australian Government.