Does anyone you know suffer from SAD? I do. We all go through short periods of time where we feel sad or just not like ourselves. Some people are influenced by seasons. When autumn and winter come along, many people will begin to feel blue or down. The days are shorter and it gets darker earlier and that adds to the mood change. It may seem like an insignificant problem unless it affects how you handle day to day activities. I don’t think the mental health professionals consider SAD a separate disorder but rather a kind of depression.
Having a BiPolar2 hubby and after the death of my father I have learned a lot about depression. Like many disorders it seems to have a spectrum. I have friends who are relatively happy go lucky until late fall. Once winter hits, they are depressed more often and start to lose interest in the things they once enjoyed. They tend to sleep more and reach out less. I used to call it hibernating – you know like bears in winter. Scientists are not really sure why people get SAD but think maybe they produce too much melatonin and not enough serotonin. It is suggested that people who have experienced SAD should take vitamin D especially during the fall and winter months.
One of my friends got a light therapy box to help with her mood. It is supposed to mimic sunlight and if you use it the first hour of waking up it is supposed to help you feel better. Like everything else sold in the US there are good ones out there and some crappy ones. She did not seem to see the benefit of light therapy so she stopped after a few uses.
Talk therapy is always good but not everyone can afford the time or money for these sessions. I try to be a good ear to all my friends who suffer from SAD by sending cards, funny texts and letting them know they can call or FACETIME with me anytime. If I do not hear from them for a long stretch of time I bug them until they respond. Sometimes they get irritated but many times they will thank me for pulling them out of their “funk”. I love them and want them to be happy.
I know they are still doing research to see what causes SAD and if it can be prevented. A lot of people take medication and while that is not for everyone, it can be helpful. There are also homeopathic remedies but you need to make sure that the advice you get is from a knowledgeable professional and you always want to let your doctors know if you start something because they can impact your other meds or your body. All natural does not always equal safe – remember that arsenic, snake venom, botulism and mercury are all from nature but not good for you!
I have a lovely friend who has not failed me in his wisdom with homeopathic remedies but I know everyone else is not so lucky. Hopefully he will comment on this post and share some great ideas with you. Whatever you do/use if you are a SAD sufferer know that I see you and hear you and you will get through it. Mental health is a big part of our wholeness and I hope you are having a great day today.