It’s entirely understandable that many of us get a little bit down when the clocks fall back by an hour in the Autumn and we’re plunged into darkness.
For one thing, the fact that there’s less light and the temperature is starting to drop means less time enjoying the outdoors, and more time leaving work in the evening in heavy clothing, with sleet or rain falling relentlessly from the sky.
But in some cases it’s more than a case of simply being a little fed up with the weather – and that’s where seasonal affective disorder comes in. It’s a condition that affects people’s mood to the extent that they become depressed – and even actually produce less of the hormone serotonin.
It’s thought that light may play a part in this, but nobody knows for sure what causes SAD. Interestingly, while the most commonly reported form of the disorder occurs during the darker months of winter, there is also a ‘reverse’ form of it that occurs in springtime.