What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? It is often referred to as the winter blues. It is a type of depression that usually occurs during the fall and winter months as the hours of daylight grow shorter. However, it may occur in the summer months as well. The symptoms are those of depressive episodes, but there is no specific test for the illness.
Recovery is good for those who get treatment. There are lifestyle changes that can help you decrease your symptoms. These can include increasing the amount of time spent outdoors, getting more physical exercise, and maintaining healthy eating habits. Light therapy, talk therapy, and medication are often used treatments for seasonal affective disorder. If not treated, complications can set in. Like in other kinds of depression, there is an increased risk of suicide.
If you can’t get outside, use a light therapy lamp. If life style changes aren’t helping enough, behavioral therapy or an anti-depressant might be what you need. Talk to your therapist or healthcare provider to find the best solution for you to get relief.
by Kathy Frick
Feel Better, Live Better