Seasonal Affective Disorder

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seasons-158601_640-1It is that time of year when many may start feeling the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.  As they days get shorter, it is darker earlier, and we don’t spend as much time outside, we may feel our mood shift.

So, what is seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Mood changes with the seasonal changes.  This usually occurs late fall and then starts improving in the spring.  Many people find they are more tired, irritable, appetite changes, weight gain.  It is possible to have the opposite of this, and experience onset of depressed mood closer to the summer months, ending in fall.  The symptoms are a bit different: depression, trouble sleeping, weight loss, poor appetite.

Treatment

The most common treatment is to try and get more sunlight.  Spend time outside in the winter, enjoying those sunny winter days.  If you aren’t a fan of being outside in the winter, you can try a special light, called phototherapy.  You site a few feet away from this light which can changing brain chemical that affects mood.

Medication and therapy can be useful for both types of seasonal affective disorder.  In therapy you would cover topics such as changing negative thought patterns, scheduling pleasurable activities, and stress management.

If you or someone you know has Seasonal Affective Disorder, you can contact me here.

2 Responses

  1. Jill Robson
    | Reply

    I know my husband tends to lean toward SAD and we find walking the dog helps to combat the effects. Very important thing to consider as we enter into longer nights and shorter days.

    • Erica Eugenio
      | Reply

      Exercise is a great way to help manage depressive symptoms.

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