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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

by Jessica B. December 27th, 2012 | Mental Health
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sadDo you feel sad in the winter? Or do you feel SAD? Seasonal affective disorder strikes many people, and the further north you live the higher your risk. While many people might roll their eyes at the idea of SAD being an actual disease, they are probably living somewhere a bit closer to the equator.

Symptoms of SAD: Do you tend to start showing signs of depression when the winter rolls around? Is your idea of a good time curling up under the covers and closing your eyes? Do you start packing on the pounds, or start losing the desire to eat? Do you feel like you have a new lease on life when spring rolls around? If so, you may be suffering from SAD. Talk to your doctor, and try to add some of the changes below to your routine to help you cope.

Fighting SAD: Are you taking enough Vitamin D? Studies show that many people are severely lacking, and in winter you may be getting even less vitamin D. Make sure to add a longer walk during daylight hours to your schedule if possible. Increase your vitamin D intake with vitamins if you cannot get a chance to take a longer walk.

Sunrise alarm clock: It may be time to invest in a sunrise alarm clock. These clocks start to go off 20 minutes before you have to get up, and they mimic a sunrise. This way you are woken up with gradual light increase in the summer. This can give you a boost of energy, and make it easier to wake up.

Light therapy lamps: It is not a good idea to start heading to the tanning salon and laying out. Tanning beds are not good for your long term skin health. Instead pick up a light therapy lamp and spend a half an hour each day relaxing in front of it. Read a book, check the Internet; just take in those rays!

Go on vacation: If the sun won’t come to you, go to the sun. Instead of dealing with holiday stress, jump on a plane and head to a warmer climate this winter holiday. A week relaxing in the sun, by a pool or even just exploring a sunny city, can help rebuild your vitamin D stores and boost your energy levels.

Talk to your doctor: If you are really struggling, talk to your doctor about medical treatment. You don’t want to spend the whole winter hibernating, and if you need some antidepressants to pull through, then go for it.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.