Defeat Seasonal Light DisorderJanuary 28th, 2012 | Posted by in Light Therapy for Depression Information | Light Therapy for SAD Information
With seasonal changes and the clock being set back for the end of day light savings time it is natural for individuals in the northern hemisphere to feel the alternation in your mood. As days get quicker and darkness more numerous, do you feel slowed down or unmotivated to wake up? Quite perhaps, you just feel down in the dumps. What you may be experiencing is seasonal changes in mood and behavior, also called as seasonality.
Affecting an estimated 6% of the US population, seasonality can certainly cause a great deal of suffering and difficulties in functioning, both at work also in one's personal life. Someone suffering from such a change is supposedly suffering from a seasonal light disorder often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a disorder now widely accepted by the health care community and public at large. Never to be confused with a full depression symptoms diagnosis, SAD is a mood condition associated with depressive episodes and associated with seasonal variations of light.
Symptoms of the seasonal light disorder named SAD include:
• Depressive disorders
• Fatigue or loss of energy
• Lack of sexual urge
• Anxiety and irritability
• Difficulty focusing or processing information
• A wanting for sugary/starchy foods
These symptoms needs to be regularly occurring through the fall and winter months, as well as must also be present for two years previous to diagnosis.
Do you notice delicate changes in your mood, however maybe not drastic enough to seek professional help? You might be experiencing a lesser form of SAD, known as the "winter blues." This condition can make you feel less cheerful, energetic, creative, and effective during the dark winter days compared to at other times of the year.
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Why do you get SAD?
As the season changes, there is a shift in our "biological clocks" partly in line with the changes in sunlight patterns. The shift could cause our biological clocks to fall out of step with our daily schedules. Individuals experiencing this seasonal light disorder have some trouble adjusting to the shortage of sunlight in the winter season. SAD symptoms are most pronounced in January and February when the days are shortest.
Melatonin (a sleep-related hormone) sometimes known as the "master biological clock," has been linked to SAD. It is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. This hormone is widely seen as to cause symptoms of depression as well as being produced at increased levels at nighttime. So, when the days are shorter and darker, the production of this hormone raises.
Young individuals and women are at the greatest risk for the disorder, but it may affect anyone. They tend not to feel bad enough to seek out medical attention, but they appear less cheerful in the fall as well as winter. SAD typically starts around the age of 20 and lessens around the age of 50.
College freshmen with a history of problematic seasonal changes are at a higher risk for developing SAD. The first year of college is stuffed with changes that may lead to developing SAD.
There are other elements that are believed to increase your own risk of developing SAD. Three crucial factors that may bring about the onset of SAD are identified below:
1. Inherent vulnerability studies - show that SAD runs in families with a history of different kinds of depression including SAD.
2. Light deprivation - changes in latitude and season resulting in decreased exposure to light may negatively affect mood.
3. Stress - an improved level of stress is associated with the beginning of SAD.
Coping with the winter blues.
Change in the surroundings:
• "Light up your life"- remove drapes from house windows, paint walls brighter hues, or install full spectrum lamps.
• Maintain warm - turn up the heat, make use of electric blankets, or take pleasure in a warm drink such as hot chocolate.
• Normal aerobic activity for example running or walking.
• Make certain the activity is something you'll enjoy so you're more likely to stay with it.
• Find a friend to train with you for support and further motivation.
• Fight bad food items with good foods.
• Eat more complex carbohydrates like cereal, pasta, as well as nuts)rather than simple carbohydrates such as candy or cookies.
• Treats are okay-as many as three times per day-but get them to be low calorie (apples, celery, carrots, dried fruits, or popcorn).
Top ten methods to avoid the winter blues:
1. Look closely at your moods and energy degrees. If you realize that your very own spirits begin to sink right at the end of summer, take pre-emptive action. A good offense surpasses after-the-fact defense.
2. Try to set up a mental set that will help you to enjoy the wintertime. It should certainly happen, so focus on taking pleasure in it.
3. Plan active proceedings for yourself in advance of the fall.
4. Expose yourself to as much bright lighting as you can. Walk outside the house on sunny days, even through the winter months. Whether it is gray and overcast, utilize as much light inside your home as you can.
5. Raise the amount of light in your own home, apartment, or room. Position furniture so the windows are not blocked, open window blinds and/or curtains. Places that are heavily shaded by trees block sunlight.
6. Stay physically active and even begin your physical task before the winter blues begin to blast off. Physical exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety which can accentuate SAD. Being fitter can make you look and feel better about yourself.
7. Preferably, take a winter vacation or even spring break in a sunny, warm spot.
8. Read more effective ways to manage stress.
9. Do something nice for yourself daily.
10. If you are yourself sinking as well as realize you will be losing control, don't feel uncomfortable or try to hide it. Understand that many people feel this way. Seek competent professional help. What you learn from this season, you could probably do for your self in all the falls and winters to arrive.
Psychotherapy helps you identify and modify negative thoughts as well as behaviors that may may play a role in bringing about symptoms of SAD. You and your counselor may also speak about ways to reduce stress in your lifetime.