Changing Seasons Can Cause Impacts on Relationships

Stuart Gustafson

We’re at the official end of Summer here in the Northern Hemisphere, and some locations are clearly feeling the impact of the changing weather. While many of us think that the changing of the seasons is purely related to weather and hours of sunlight, there are additional impacts that can strain our inter-personal relationships.

It’s been well documented, such as at the Mayo Clinic, that people who suffer from depression that begins about the same time and then ends about the same time each year -- these people suffer from a malady called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Unfortunately, or unwittingly, the acronym SAD is exactly how many of the sufferers feel when they are overcome by this disorder.

The good news is that the symptoms of SAD begin to go away as Spring arrives and the days are sunnier and longer.

Unfortunately, people who experience SAD also experience a lessening of closeness and togetherness with their partner, their family, and other close ones. This is partly due to a feeling of tiredness and sluggishness, as well as either a loss of appetite or a desire to eat more “less healthy” foods.

As with many issues, the effects of SAD are having a greater impact partly because of the prolonged covid pandemic. People have either not been able to, or have not felt comfortable, in getting together with others, thus promoting a feeling of loneliness.

One of the symptoms of SAD is a lack of focus or concentration, exacerbating the difficulties of communicating with your partner. As people have quarantined, being separated from others magnifies the problem of talking with friends and family. As we head into Autumn, with shorter daytime hours, this feeling of not being able to express oneself is heightened by the darker and cooler days.

Lack of communication isn't the only potential side effect of SAD for couples.

According to experts, the physical side of your relationship could be impacted too. "If you're experiencing loss of pleasure or loss of interest in activities, that can make date nights or the sexual side of the relationship difficult to keep up as well.”

There isn’t much information on the effect of Seasonal Affective Disorder on those afflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease. One (SAD) comes and goes, while the other is a slow, but continuous, decline. My wife (age 75) has advanced Alzheimer’s Disease, and one of the things the neurologist told us to do is to keep more lights on in the house at night.

This goes right along with Light Therapy that is used to counter-balance some of the effects of SAD. Because we do keep more lights on in the house than others might, I don’t expect that I’ll see much difference in her this Autumn and Winter as we lose daylight, getting down to just a little under nine hours in December.

There are many good articles and websites that go into further details about the medical impacts of Seasonal Affective disorder. they are good to read, but it is best to consult with a medical doctor if you begin to feel any of the SAD symptoms.

#relationships #alzheimers #Seasonal #SAD

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Articles on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday about travel, relevant local/regional items, some finance. Always with a slant to ask you to think.

Boise, ID

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