Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) What is seasonal affective disorder? Seasonal affective disorder (often called "SAD") is a form of depression that comes and goes depending on the time of year. Fall-onset SAD – This type of SAD starts in late fall and goes away in the spring and summer. Some people call it "winter depression." It is the most common form of SAD. Spring-onset SAD is much less common than fall-onset SAD. What are the symptoms of SAD? Feeling unmotivated and depressed for no apparent reason Irritable Lack of or excess of sleep Lapses in concentration Weight gain What are the risk factors? SAD is more common among women Onset of SAD is usually between age 20 and 30 years [ SAD is a subtype of the following mood disorders: ●Unipolar major depression (major depressive disorder) ●Bipolar I disorder ●Bipolar II disorder
Here are a few techniques to help you fight off symptoms or at least ease the intensity of SAD: Go Outside Get as much natural light as you can if you are fighting seasonal depression or wintertime seasonal affective disorder. If you get home after dark, change your schedule and bundle up for a walk during lunch — the sunlight will reset your circadian clock and you will also replenish your Vitamin D. Bright Light therapy Clinical studies have proven that exposure to an hour of artificial bright white light in the morning is effective in about 60% of patients with SAD. Therapy should be coordinated with a clinician knowledgeable in this area Exercise Exercise is a common prescription to ease depression. Moderate exercise like walking, running and yoga release endorphins and neurotransmitters to the brain. These chemicals can increase your mood and keep your immune system healthy Speak with Your Doctor SAD is a form of depression. The therapeutic ways to combat SAD don’t always work. If you can’t shake feelings of anxiety and sadness, find a mental health professional to guide you to treatment that is best for you.
Dawn Simulators Get a “Dawn Stimulator” and wake up peacefully with clocks that mimic the changing light of the sun. Dawn simulators gradually wake you up with light that increases in intensity to simulate morning sunshine. The most effective ones use full-spectrum light, which is as close to natural light as possible. Spend time with your friends and family Spending time with your friends and family is a great way to lift your spirits and avoid social isolation. Snuggle with your kids or pets; visit with your friends while drinking a hot cup of tea or play board games with your family. Friends and family can be good to talk to about how the season is affecting you. Take the time to educate them about SAD so they can better understand your situation For more information, check out the following links:- https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/seasonal-affective-disorder.aspx Please contact OMC Health Promotion for any questions at #3670