How PTSD & Seasonal Affective Disorder Affect Each Other

Personal Injury Blog

Accident victims with post-traumatic stress often encounter serious bouts of fear and anxiety during various times of the year. The flare-ups often involve numerous causes, but part of the healing process is recognizing these symptoms and understanding how to move forward without allowing them to affect your life. Understanding how seasonal affective disorder affects post-traumatic stress is important to the healing process.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that changes with the seasons. Typically, individuals who suffer from SAD experience effects at roughly the same time each year, and they tend to show symptoms with the fall and winter months more than the spring or summer. However, not all cases sync with the weather.

Individuals dealing with SAD may experience the following symptoms:

  • Sadness
  • Dissociation
  • Loss of interest
  • Sleep troubles
  • Lack of energy
  • Appetite changes
  • Lack of concentration
  • Depression

Coping with the Anniversary of Your Accident

In some cases, such as when the individual was traumatized by an accident, the symptoms of SAD may arise during the anniversary of the incident. It typically brings up thoughts and memories of what happened and the pain they endured as a result. It’s during this time that many people look for someone with whom they can speak. Therapy is a healthy way to process your feelings and receive supportive, proactive advice along the way.

Healing in the Aftermath of an Injury

Because SAD often arises when there is less sunlight and the weather is a bit drearier, light therapy is one way of healing from the feelings of depression. One thing that you as a survivor may be able to do is create your “outs.” By this, we mean knowing your triggers and creating strategies to get away from situations that present them.

Dealing with the aftermath of a serious crash is never easy, especially when it leads to emotional trauma. If you are the victim, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel—and healing is possible. If you are the family of a victim of PTSD or SAD, ensure you're taking the proper steps to provide your loved one with the support they need.