Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the nights draw in at the beginning of autumn up to 29% of Britons will be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Sometimes referred to as ‘Winter Depression’ it’s reported that the symptoms of SAD can raise to around 40% in women often lasting through December and on into January and February.

According to the NHS, symptoms that may present themselves include:

  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight

These symptoms can become severe and often impair day-to-day activities.


What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Whilst the exact causes of SAD are subject to study it’s commonly held that reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days are its main contributors. This in turn affects the brain and in particular the Hypothalamus.

The Hypothalamus increases the production of Melatonin, there’s a decrease in our normal levels of Serotonin and the change in light also influences our Circadian Rhythms.

Melatonin (Hormone) – An increase can lead us to become more sleepy.

Serotonin (Hormone) – Affects sleep, mood, appetite and plays an important role in how we deal with anxiety and stress.

Circadian Rhythms (Internal body clock) – SAD may disrupt your sleeping patterns or make it difficult to wake up.



If you believe you may suffer from SAD it’s always best to visit your GP who can give you further information and a thorough diagnosis. There may also be treatments such as SSRI’s that your GP can recommend.

You can also increase your levels of serotonin through regular exercise. By getting as much natural light as possible, use of a Lightbox and most importantly by reducing your stress levels, which can be helped through the use of talking therapies such as CBT and Solution Focused Hypnotherapy.

How can Solution Focused Hypnotherapy Help?

We use the latest developments in neuroscience, CBT and Brief Therapy in combination with trance to help positively intervene and focus on your desired outcome.

With commitment from the yourself – we work together to create a positive infrastructure, giving you the ability to cope better and create more of that all important serotonin in a natural and relaxing way.

Solution Focused Hypnotherapy does not regress clients, ask you to give any information that you’re not happy disclosing and does not use any stage theatrics. It’s an open and honest way of helping you recognise that you have the resources and inner strength to deal with difficulties in a calm and relaxed manner.

If you’d like to learn more please using my contact page, emailing or by giving me a call on 07756 932 702.


References’s recommended Lightboxes and buyers guide – HERE

Stats – YouGov / The Independent

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What is Solution Focused Hypnotherapy?

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A bit more information

Ben Gaskell is a Clinical Hypnotherapist working with clients who suffer from anxiety, stress, low mood and phobias. He practices from Stretford and Deansgate, Manchester and serves the areas of:


Altrincham, Stockport, Trafford, Urmston, Didsbury, Sale, Chorlton.


Deansgate, Northern Quarter, Spinning fields.

Further details can be found on the ‘getting here’ or ‘contact’ page. For more information on how Ben at Greater Manchester Hypnotherapy can help you please call 07756 932 702 or email