- Mental Health»
- Clinical Depression
It's The S.A.D. Season
There are days with lots of light. Take five during some of them.
What is S.A.D., and Why it matters.
You may not have Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), but, even if you don't, someone you know has it. Understanding its impact can make your life, and the lives of those around you, more manageable.
S.A.D. typically manifests itself in the fall and winter. It is a form of depression which can be dealt with effectively, but, if it is not, here are some of the impacts it can have on people who are susceptible to S.A.D.: they can gain weight (which can have its own impact on their level of depression) craving for fattening and salty foods; they are more susceptible to anxiety attacks, suicidal thoughts, and to complaining that "I just don't have any energy, and I just want to sleep all the time"; and, they are likely to be less interested in sex, their jobs and tasks, their appearance, and those around them.
The holidays, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year, may find the S.A.D. sufferer even more depressed than the "blues" which can arise for anyone who might be feeling alone or forgotten in the seasonal rush of activity swirling about them.
The cause of S.A.D. is most often attributed to an exterior cause, the reduced hours of sunlight as weather and the season itself make for grayer days and longer nights. Even on days of full sunshine, the angle of the sun during that season makes its rays less direct, less able to dispel the disorder.
S.A.D. sufferers can make changes in their diet, and those can help them, just as such changes can help others dealing with other causes of depression; but the most common helpful change is a relatively simple one: get more light, even if it is derived from man-made light that duplicates the wavelengths of sunlight.
If the sufferer doesn't want to spend time sitting in such bright lighting while reading, sewing, or wrapping presents, the even better solution is getting some exercise and fresh air....while taking a walk during the brightest part of the day.
Doing that can help with the weight gain problem, "get the juices going," provide a change of scene, and get some old fashioned sunlight, even some sunshine. So put one of those large, yellow, smiley faces on a yellow Post-it (R) note for a reminder that you, the person in your family, that co-worker or neighbor, can cope successfully as the longest night of the year on December 21st gives way to the lengthening days and daylight that bring back those happy days of spring and summer.
But, fall and winter come each year, and so will S.A.D. for those it affects each year. Knowledge is power, and knowing what can be done to make things better actually does make things better...and brighter.
© 2011 Demas W. Jasper All rights reserved.
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- Seasonal affective disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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