Friday, October 24, 2014  
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Battling SAD: Stay Happy

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a serious case in which the winter months draw on depression.

SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, can sound downright silly to those who have not experienced it. “You mean to say that you get depressed when winter time rolls around and there’s less light? What are you, a vampire?” Sadly (pun intended), those who suffer from SAD are just like the rest of us but they feel the changes of the seasons just as much as a bear hibernating for the winter. What exactly is SAD? According to webmd.com, SAD is “a form of depression that tends to occur as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter.

What Causes SAD?

It is believed that affected persons react adversely to the decreasing amount of light and the colder temperature as autumn and winter progress.” Depression, wanting to sleep all the time and sometimes a craving for starchy foods are symptoms of SAD, and while they may sound mild, imagine dealing with them for the long winter months. SAD isn’t a hopeless battle for those who suffer from it, so get some help in turning your SAD into happiness and joy.

Let There Be Light

One of the most effective treatments for SAD is lighting therapy. Light therapy comes in two forms, bright light treatment and dawn simulation. In bright light treatment, you sit in front of a light box for a specified amount of time (usually in the mornings), and you can actually buy these yourself. Plug one of these boxes in while you’re working in the morning, having breakfast or reading the paper, and enjoy its warmth for anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. Dawn simulation is just like it sounds: you have a certain amount of light shining on you while you sleep and it increases toward the morning hours. The treatment’s effectiveness varies, but since it’s not always practical for busy people to sit in front of a light box for a long period of time, dawn simulation seems to be the most efficient use of time for people on the go.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Flóra

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