Why so SAD?

It’s that time of year again… not enough light because of the fewer hours in the day of sunlight, too many clouds, too much snow, too many hours inside.  If you’re feeling depressed and irritable you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly referred to as SAD.

Symptoms:
You may notice this if you’re feeling tired, depressed, irritable, decreased activity levels and body aches. These symptoms feel more intense during the darkest months of the year. People who live farthest from the equator and have shorter days in the winter months will feel this depression longer.

Treatments:
Exposure to light will help lift  your blues and get your body back into an active state.  Bright lights, especially florescent lights used in the morning and evening will work best. Something a bit more fun may be a trip to a warm sunny climate for a period of time as a way to warm you up and lift your mood.

The important thing to remember is this state of flux is temporary and will leave when the earth shifts and seasons change. If it’s too heavy to live with and the depression is too severe, perhaps a move to a sunny climate is in store for you.  Sunny Florida, Arizona or California will offer some respite during the dreary winter months and may be someplace you move to during the winter months or year round.

Search for the Light:
Phototherapy has been used successfully to get more light into your life. A light box can be used to alleviate some of your depression.  A light box, is designed to offer enough brightness (25x brighter than a normal lamp light bulb) to lift your mood.

Turn to the light …and then turn to your friends and family and let them know what’s going on with you. A social network can be effective and healing in getting you over this low time.

Links:
Feeling Sad and Blue?
Seasonal Affective Disorder
SAD

“Women Comprise Majority of SAD Sufferers” (by HealthyPlace.com)

About 70-80% of those with SAD are women. The most common age of onset is in one’s thirties, but cases of childhood SAD have been reported and successfully treated. For every individual with full blown SAD, there are many more with milder “Winter Blues.” The incidence of SAD increases with increasing latitude up to a point, but does not continue increasing all the way to the poles. There seems to be interplay between an individual’s innate vulnerability and her degree of light exposure. For instance, one person might feel fine all year in Texas but develop SAD when she moves to Toronto. Another individual may be symptomatic in New York City, but have few symptoms in Miami. Some individuals who work long hours inside office buildings with few windows may experience symptoms all year round. Some very sensitive individuals may note changes in mood during long stretches of cloudy weather.
Read entire article at Seasonal Affective Disorder

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