Is lack of sunny days bringing you down? You are not alone. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression which often exhibits itself in the winter months to even those without depressive symptoms the remainder of the year, and affects a reported 14 million people in the US. Experts who’ve studied SAD, believe lack of sunlight, not cold temperatures, is the culprit. In addition, you may be especially at risk for SAD if you live in an area where there are frequent prolonged periods of overcast weather.
What can you do about it?
A recent article posted to topix.net reprinted from the Montery County Herald, may shed some light on SAD treatment. In an article titled “Shining on SAD’s Effects”, SAD sufferer, Louise Schneberger tells a reporter what she’s been doing to cope with the illness often dubbed “winter depression”. Louise sits next to a small blue light every morning for about 20 minutes in an effort to regulate her sleep cycle and elevate her mood.
How does a light make you happy?
According to the article the special full-spectrum lights “help regulate the body’s internal circadian clock and control the production of the sleep hormone, melatonin, and the production of serotonin, a brain chemical, both of which contribute to improving mood, sleep and energy.”
The article suggests Apollo Health’s goLite, purchasable at Apollo’s Website, Costco or amazon.com. However there are many lights on the market, so don’t shy away from doing a little research before settling on one that best suits your lifestyle.
Other worthy mentions on SAD treatment
The article also touts the importance of regular exercise and the right diet, including the now widely popular switch to complex carbohydrates. Additionally, the US has recently approved the prescription drug Wellbutrin XL for the treatment of SAD.
Let’s face it, it’s the Holiday season, so you are going to be spending a lot of time with relatives and it’s inevitable that some of them will overstay their welcome. If the arrival of your seasonal moodiness coincides with the arrival of annoying relatives, you are going to have to ask them to leave, unfortunately in this circumstance; no amount of light is going to help you.
Want to learn more about SAD?
Check out Psych Central’s SAD Resource Center today for additional information and resources.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 16 Nov 2007
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Bechdel, J. (2006). Tis’ the season for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 12, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2006/11/13/tis-the-season-for-seasonal-affective-disorder/