Seasonal Affective Disorder
At AgeLess Medical, we hear a lot about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) this time of year and sadly, many people struggle with this type of depression that is related to a change in the seasons. For many, symptoms start during the Fall and continue through the Winter months.
The Mayo Clinic identifies the following symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight, especially craving for foods high in
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Difficulty concentrating
- Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
- Thoughts of suicide
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day for two weeks or more
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having low energy / Sleep struggles
- Loss of interest in activities that you typically enjoy
There are treatment options and lifestyle changes that can greatly reduce the severity of symptoms associated with SAD. Read on to learn more.
Light Therapy: With this type of therapy, you sit next to a light therapy box that emits artificial light believed to affect certain chemicals in the brain that can ease the symptoms of SAD. You can purchase your own light therapy box here.
Dawn simulators: These are devices that serve as alarm clocks and emit light that gradually increases in intensity, it’s like having your own sunshine in the comfort of your bedroom. No loud beeping or loud music, but bright light to start your day may also reduce symptoms of SAD. More info can be found here.
Get Outside: – While frigid temperatures can sometimes make this difficult, take advantage of unseasonably warmer days and go outside for a walk or just sit and soak up the sun or even the clouds, this can greatly reduce symptoms of SAD. The Mayo Clinic recommends to receive the most benefit spend some time outside within two hours of waking up. Creating a brighter environment by opening blinds and sitting close to windows can also help.
Exercise and Eat Healthfully
Exercise and eat healthfully: This may go without saying, but ensuring you are eating healthy and getting adequate exercise are critical in managing stress and overall mood and well-being.
Supplements: Talk with your doctor about trying a supplement such as St. John’s Wort. AgeLess Medical offers a variety of herbal supplements that may help to reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress which can exacerbate SAD. **Before using any supplement, talk with your primary care physician to determine what would be the best option for you.**
Sleep better: Not getting enough rest can also enhance symptoms of SAD. If you have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or waking frequently at night, schedule an appointment with our mental health counselor and get started with our program to beat insomnia. Give AgeLess Medical a call at 607.846.3690 to schedule.
Counseling: Stress and a previous diagnosis of depression or anxiety can worsen symptoms associated with SAD, seeing a mental health counselor who can provide additional strategies for managing stress, anxiety and depression can also help. Take control of your health and get back on track with your body.
With all of the information above, you have nothing to lose by trying some of these steps to feel better during our long winters. AgeLess Medical is here to help with any questions you may have!Share