Cures for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression in people, which happens during a particular season or time of every year. In most people who suffer from this, this period starts at the end of fall and beginning winter season and go on till summer starts. However for a few people, it can happen at the start of summer. It usually affects people who live away from the equator, around 1%-2% of the population in the world, and it’s mostly women and young people suffer from this. SAD can be confused with Seasonal blues which affects 10-20% people every year.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Symptoms

While most of the symptoms are related to depression in general, here are few that are commonly seen in people with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

  • Feeling depressed most of the time, even for days together.
  • Having a negative feeling about or being unhappy about oneself.
  • Fatigue and having no energy to do anything.
  • Sleeplessness or oversleeping.
  • Sudden weight loss or gain which is usually linked to loss of appetite or a huge craving for certain foods.
  • Irritation and anxiety
  • Trouble interacting with people.
  • Loss of interest and concentration in hobbies and other activities.
  • Feeling suicidal or having a desire to die

Causes

If you start feeling depressed when winter starts, andaren’t sure why, you might be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is mainly the lack of light, color and warm weather that causes this disorder in people.
This affects the human body in many ways,

A person’s body clock is not able to adjust to this lack of sunlight and makes it difficult for a person’s body to adjust.
Serotonin, which is a chemical in the brain can drop with reduced sunlight, affects a person’s mood, thus causing SAD.
Melatonin, another chemical which is responsible for a person’s sleep pattern and mood can also play a role here, due to the change in weather.

Beating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Treatments

How do you treat SAD? The problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder is that it is often difficult to diagnose. This means that you need to be able to understand that you have the disease to go in for treatment at the right time.Additionally, SAD can take a while to go away.The most common treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder is usually light therapy, psychotherapy, and other medications.

1. Light Therapy
Here a person is exposed to a particular kind of light from a light box which resembles outdoor or sunlight for 15-90 minutes every day. This can cause a change in the chemicals in a person’s body and in lifting up their mood. This is usually effective for most people who are affected in the fall and winter. Look at purchasing a 10,000 lux SAD lamp that you sit infant of for 30-60 minutes per day. See our SAD lamp reviews here.

2. Psychotherapy
This helps to overcome the negative thoughts a person has and help him in dealing with stress and tension. It also teaches a person the different ways to deal with SAD.

3. Medications
Sometimes certain antidepressants are prescribed to people with recurring or severe SAD. However, this is for the short term use and doctors always look for alternatives before subscribing any medication.

Cures

Do not worry if you feel that you have SAD. Often, the disease can go away on its own if you can do the right things.If you are suffering from these symptoms, here are a few things you can do to get over it or to avoid being depressed.

sunrise-run

Try to be in brightly lit places. Do this as much as possible, open up those windows or keep the curtains and blinds open. Get rid of things that are blocking light from entering your room.Use skylights in your home is also a good idea. This will allow natural light to enter your rooms and brighten up the place.

Spend time outdoors. Try doing some outdoor activities every day, you can go on walks, ride a bicycle, eat outside in the open air or take a book you’ve wanted to read from a long time and go to a nearby park and sit there.Don’t stay locked up in office for long hours, take long walks outside during lunch time.

Join a gym or a health club. You can take up classes for some other activities as well. Do all those things that you always wanted to do.Keep your body active. Take up regular exercise, play some sport or just go for walks every day. You can even try out mind and body therapies like yoga, meditation, acupuncture and massage therapy.

Brighten things up. Paint the house in bright colors; this will give you a feeling of being in a warm place. Brighten up the house by using appropriate indoor lighting. Use bright lights that can light your living room.

Ensure enough light. Have a fireplace in the house if possible. This will give you a warmth and instantly make you feel better. Sit near a window as much as possible, at home or at your workplace.

Take Care of what you eat. Eat a balanced diet and follow proper time schedule for your meals Take your medicines on time and do not avoid or stop them midway.

Consult the doctor. Talk to a friend or your doctor if you’re feeling extremely depressed. Don’t try to be all by yourself for long periods of time.

Have fun! Plan reunions for friends and families during the winter holidays. This will help you to feel much better.Meet people and socialize. This will stop making you feel lonely.Go on a vacation to places with the weather that can make you feel better. This will help you a lot. Take this chance to go visit all the places you want to go to. This will also be a great time for family bonding or catching up with old friends.

Take care of how you live. Stick to a schedule and avoid long hours of sleep. Sleeping for the most part of the day can leave you feeling very low and depressed.Don’t get into drinking alcohol or taking drugs during this time.

Be confident. It is good to be aware of which of these suits you the best. The most important thing is that you need to make up your mind to overcome this condition and you will definitely succeed. Go Beat the Blues!

These simple tips will ensure that you can cure SAD easily. Cherish life and enjoy what you do. Most people have to deal with depression at one point of time or the other in their lives; it’s important to ensure that you do not let depression get the better of you.


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