Mental health experts see increase in seasonal affective disorder on central coast
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif .– This is the time of year when mental health experts see more people in need.
The official name is Seasonal Affective Disorder, the common term is “SAD”.
Especially during the winter months with shorter days and less sun, it can affect a lot of people on the central coast.
âIt’s a type of depression,â said Suzanne Grimmesey, in Santa Barbara County. “It can also present as irritability or anxiety which is usually felt in the fall and usually during the winter months, and can cause mood swings.”
Researchers believe that around 1 in 20 people have this disorder across the country.
âPeople know they are not alone,â said Suzanne Grimmesey. âSo the days are colder and darker. People feel less energetic and have less daylight to go out and exercise.
Health experts at Lompoc Valley Medical Center believe it is targeting the younger population.
âIt usually shows up in adolescents and even younger women,â said Abhishek Mehta, public health specialist at Lompoc Valley Medical Center. “On average, this is two to nine times more common than humans.”
To deal with it, experts recommend talking to friends, family, or a therapist and keeping busy.
âMaybe a number of people you could trust,â Mehta said. âBecause that could be one of the really good ways to open up. “