S.A.D or Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common disorder that affects millions. SAD is as it sounds: during specific times of year, primarily the winter months, people who suffer with SAD can have trouble sleeping or eating, anxiety, feeling down, depressed, melancholy, apathetic and generally, well, sad.
The reasoning behind the disorder is that during the winter months there is less light, and this directly impacts one’s mood. Additionally, the chemical Melatonin produced by the body to assist with sleep is generated during dark hours and thus an increase in melatonin can throw off one’s internal clock. For those struggling with depression already, this can worsen the symptoms but even those who don’t normally struggle can be susceptible to the effects during this time of year.
The irony of such a disorder is that it comes at a time of year that is traditionally supposed to be the “Happiest time of the year” and incredibly festive, which is perhaps why we see so many people struggle during this time of year and why we love to put lights simply everywhere and on everything.
Though there is little one can do to change the seasons and increase daylight, there are a few things one can do to counter the effects of the disorder that have been found to be helpful.
The most commonly discussed intervention for SAD is Phototherapy. This involves exposing oneself to increased levels of light for several hours a day. To achieve an increase in normal light exposure one must purchase special lightbulbs and lamps which are easy to come by and can be found using a simple google search (Search: Seasonal Affective Disorder Lamps).
Other traditional forms of intervention include psychotherapy as well as medication.
On a practical level there are many things you can do to help yourself combat the effects of SAD such as ensuring that your home or apartment is well lit, that you ensure that you maintain a productive and healthy lifestyle and sleep schedule, regular exercise, positive self care, and most importantly that you are aware of both the way you feel and the impact of SAD so that you can easily identify the issue for what it is.
Don’t struggle alone!
For more information on SAD or other disorders and get help contact 310 Recovery for a free assessment of your symptoms as well as your insurance benefits and coverage. Give us a call today, 888-767- 5692