Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly abbreviated SAD) is a form of depression experienced by more people than most of us realize. It is primarily caused by changes in light patterns as the seasons change. Most who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder go through it during the autumn and winter seasons, when daylight diminishes. But some experience it in reverse—when winter’s light gives way to spring’s and summer’s increasing daylight.
If you feel a sense of ennui, or an effect of greater severity, it may be caused by SAD. Laurie Grengs can help. She has years of experience helping those in the Coon Rapids, Minnesota area with SAD, and other mental health issues including depression, anger management, trauma counseling and much more.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is real. All human beings receive the benefits of vitamin D via sunlight, so it makes sense that a diminution of light would have an impact on us. If that impact for you is any degree of depression, seek help. The signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder are similar to the signs of depression, but treatment of SAD can differ slightly to significantly. The signs of SAD are:
- Sleeping more and feeling lethargic during waking hours
- Loss of interest in the meaningful parts of your life
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty focusing
- Changes in appetite
- Feeling hopeless
- Negative thoughts
Treatment of SAD can take many forms. Arguably the first and most important step is understanding the symptoms in order to prevent it from becoming an entrenched pattern. Other ways of treating SAD may include:
- Adequate exercise. Working one’s body creates chemical and physiological changes in the body, which can combat SAD.
- Healthy eating. Nutrients influence brain activity, which can combat SAD.
- Seeking therapy from a qualified professional, such as Laurie Grengs.
- Healthy sleep habits. Getting too much sleep can be comparably unhealthy as not getting enough sleep.
- Spending more time outside. We all know the benefits of getting vitamin D from the sun.
- Getting more natural light into your home. If you’re unable to get outside, letting light in from the outside is the next best thing.
- Spending time on a hobby you value. We engage in hobbies because we value the process and/or the product. Engaging activates the mind, which combats SAD.
- Vacationing. A change of scenery changes our patterns of thought, which can combat SAD.
- Light Therapy. A more intensive means of addressing SAD.
Talk Therapy with a qualified professional can help us understand the causes of SAD.