Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a specific type of depression, whereby one’s mood is affected by seasonal changes. Is also known as the Winter Blues; one might feel better in springtime and is common in colder countries (i.e., Canada) when days get shorter in winter. It typically begins to occur in late fall or at the beginning of winter and it can last for about 5 months. One’s ethnicity can impact their ability to be suspectable to SAD; xenophobia, racism, loss of community, and colonialism. SAD can affect newcomers, especially from warmer regions such as Africa and the Caribbean
Symptoms of SAD include but are not limited to:
Hypersomnia - When one oversleeps
Social Withdrawal – Keeping away from one’s friends and family, also known as hibernating
Gaining weight – Typically due to overeating, hibernating, hypersomnia, coping, etc.
Overeating – In this case, it is common for one to excessively consume carbs
Since depression impacts the BIPOC community in a unique and difficult way given the systemic barriers we experience, celebrating your cultural traditions can certainly be a form of healing. My mother taught me how to cook all our traditional Nigerian dishes and learning new recipes from the continent is something I look forward to when I’m indoors during winter. I encourage you to learn your history, connect with others, discover your family, and wear your cultural clothing. Sometimes taking up a new hobby in the wintertime can also help as it can be a way for you to rediscover and recreate yourself.
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