Change of mood, altered biorhythms, sadness, apathy, decay, difficulty falling asleep … the arrival of autumn brings many more consequences than the fall of the leaves of the trees. It is what we call autumnal asthenia.
The decrease in the hours of sunshine and a daily routine marked by stress and the decrease in personal contact with friends and family make the arrival of autumn for some people more than a mere formality.
And it is that health and mood can be altered with the cold. This syndrome is much more common during the hot months – the dreaded spring asthenia – but increasingly manifests itself in the fall. The reason is mainly the reduction of the hours of sunshine and the body’s response to the temporal change.
Its symptoms are present and affect, normally, the emotional state: the most common are fatigue, apathy, bad mood or lack of sleep. Anhedonia — a person’s inability to feel pleasure in any activity — and a lack of concentration are also normal. Even the absence of sexual desire is a common of this syndrome.
Autumnal asthenia is a temporary syndrome, and as such, it should disappear after five or six days. It may last a week or a week and a half and at most fifteen days. But if it persists after this time, a specialist should be consulted unless the first symptoms are accompanied by fever, weight loss or respiratory failure: in this case, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Autumnal asthenia? Discover a station full of possibilities
The arrival of autumn is a season that many consider “cursed” because it is preceded by rest, fun and good humour that characterizes the summer season. The rains begin, the first colds arrive, the days shorten, and all this gradually affects our mood. Autumnal asthenia is our body’s response to all these changes and usually manifests itself with sadness, difficulty concentrating, apathy, irritability and even a lack of sexual appetite.
The main reason for this seasonal disorder is the reduction in daylight hours. Sunlight is essential for the production of melatonin and serotonin, the hormones that control our energy and mood. For this reason, it affects more people who suffer from depression or who do not have emotional stability. The Mental Health professionals of Ribera Salud explain to us in this post how to avoid the effects of autumnal asthenia. They ensure that fall is a season that is full of charm and opportunity.
Many times we have heard the phrase “I am asthenic,” “I have a post-vacation depression,” “I am like the weather.” It is not something that Mental Health professionals hear in our consultations; Rather, it is a general feeling appreciated in everyday situations such as the queue for the supermarket, the elevator conversation with the neighbour of the Sixth or before starting the Pilates class.
In the autumn time there are indeed atmospheric changes and in the seasonal cycle that can affect us to a greater or lesser extent: it starts to get less hot, there are fewer and fewer hours of light, the time is changed (“they rob us an hour of light,” we often hear)… The body may slow down in autumn, but this, far from being harmful, can even be an opportunity to withdraw and recharge batteries for winter. What are those benefits that will allow us to look at autumn more affectionately?
Autumn benefits against autumnal asthenia
Perhaps what happens in autumn is that we stop too abruptly and do not allow ourselves to enjoy what this “cursed” season can offer us.
Preparing a mountain getaway to enjoy the earthy tones with which plants and trees delight us at this time of year, or organizing a relaxing weekend, taking advantage of the low season prices, can be solutions to pass the “bad drink” of the change of season. Along with this, it is time to resume or start that hobby or hobby that we have always postponed because we are the last on the list of family priorities. Reflecting on the busy life, to give a greater (or higher quality) personal / family space should be almost obligatory.
The point is not to get carried away by the apathy with which we label autumn, to overcome the drop in revolutions after the summer holidays and begin to find a taste for autumn, plain and simple.
The arrival of autumn brings a return to routine, a drop in temperatures and a decrease in daylight hours, especially after the change to wintertime. And many people also notice changes in their mood, tiredness and lack of motivation. Vitamin and energy supplements, such as royal jelly and ginseng, boost your demand, but it is the so-called autumnal asthenia or autumnal depression in most cases. This is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, a transitory state that has a lot to do with the decrease in daylight hours and that causes the brain to produce less serotonin and more melanin. Why is it produced, and how can we improve our spirits?
Symptoms of autumnal asthenia
People with autumnal asthenia usually notice some clear symptoms such as sadness or discouragement, exhaustion and general loss of energy, lack of interest, apathy, little desire to do activities, drowsiness, lack of concentration … Sometimes you can also notice a decrease in libido, headaches, and a predisposition to infection.
It usually affects women more than men, especially those who bear more family responsibilities and those between 40 and 60 years old, when they experience the drop in estrogens of menopause.
Why does autumnal asthenia occur?
Autumn, especially after the time change, means a decrease in the hours of exposure to sunlight that triggers a hormonal change in the body and lowers mood in some people. It is a temporary disorder that usually lasts about 15 days or a little longer until the body manages to readjust.
On the one hand, with the drop in temperatures and the decrease in the hours of sunlight, more melatonin is secreted, the hormone responsible for regulating sleep and body temperature and responsible for that apathy and fatigue that generates more drowsiness.
On the other hand, the lack of light also reduces the production of serotonin (the so-called “happiness hormone”), which is generated in the brain from tryptophan and controls moods, so we can experience mood swings and have that feeling of sadness. If we add it to the post-vacation syndrome after the summer and the return to the routine of children and adults, these symptoms can be enhanced.
Keys to raise your spirits in autumn
To cope with fatigue and improve our mood at this time, our body needs to rebalance its internal clock. You can make some gestures to avoid the apathy and discouragement of the autumn that, in addition to ensuring a good state of health, help us find personal well-being.
Make the most of sunlight and get some daily exercise.
As the lack of light decreases the production of serotonin. Take advantage of sunny days to go for walks, go on errands or work errands. Simply walking for 30 minutes at a brisk pace releases endorphins that increase feelings of well-being and improve mood.
Another option is to resort to phototherapy, a way to treat seasonal affective disorder and some other illnesses, by exposing them to artificial light through a lamp that emits bright light in imitation of natural light outside.