Seasonal Affective Disorder
Posted Monday, December 1, 2014
ITS MORE THAN JUST THE WINTER BLUES
Use the Information Below to Help Shake Off SAD
DID YOU KNOW?
SAD can occur in those living in either hemisphere, but is extremely rare in those living within 30º latitude of the equator.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that is specific to a certain time of year. SAD usually begins in the fall and lasts through the early spring, and it’s more severe than the winter blues that many people feel when the weather gets cooler.While there is no set causes for SAD, most believe the causes to be related to the shorter days and changes to the circadian rhythm.
Common Symptoms of SAD
- Avoidance of social activities/situations or loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
- Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, and anxiety.
- Increased appetite or weight gain; especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods.
- Fatigue or a drop in energy, accompanied with oversleeping.
While these symptoms are common for those afflicted with SAD only a physician can make a proper diagnosis.
What Kinds of Treatments are Available?
- Get outside and get light: It can be important to get as much natural light as possible between 6am - 6pm.
- Watch what you eat: Curb craving for sweets and carbs.
- Limit coffee and alcohol intake: It can increase anxiety, muscle tension, and in the case of alcohol, it’s a depressant.
- Engage in regular exercise: It is important to get at least 30 minutes of anaerobic exercise 3-4 times a week.
SAD affects over half a million American and is diagnosed more frequently in women than in men. If symptoms persist annually for three or more years, or if the feelings of depression become overwhelming, seek medical counseling. For more information about advanced treatment options for SAD visit: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/news/science-news/2006/properly-timed-light-melatonin-lift-winter-depression-by-syncing-rhythms.shtml