Seasonal Affective Disorder And Black Communities

person sitting at the side of the bed with face crumpled up getting ready to cry
Briona Lamback
October 20, 2022

As the season changes, temperatures drop, and so do our serotonin levels. These drops can influence our moods. Nearly 10 million Americans are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

And for our people, it's incredibly impactful.

Many mental health experts believe that a lack of sunlight during winter can cause this seasonal depression. Psychotherapist Farah Harris says, "African-Americans have a higher rate of Vitamin D deficiency, so the lack of sunshine on our melanin skin can impact our mood."

So what are the symptoms of SAD?

Though symptoms vary from person to person, some common ones include a change in appetite, a drop in energy level, fatigue, decreased physical activity, oversleeping and more. Wondering how to treat SAD?

Psychology Today recommends combining light therapy, vitamin D supplements, and counseling. It may also be beneficial to take advantage of any natural sunlight when possible, so spend time being physically active outside and plan outdoor activities or hobbies that you find pleasurable.  

If you’re interested in finding a Black therapist, check out Therapy For Black Girls, Hurdle Health, or Therapy For Black Men.

Our people already deal with a lot year-round due to the systemic ills constantly working against us. So it's crucial that we know about SAD and how it affects our people. Remember to check in with yourself, your loved ones, and anyone in your community this season.

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