Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD): Treatment and Prevention

Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD)

Feeling blue as autumn approaches? You might be affected by SAD. In this post, you will learn about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatment and prevention.

Autumn season is known to all as the season of a thousand colors, but the same colorful season is considered to be depressing due to shortening of the days and earlier ascension of night.

Each season and time of the year is significant and valuable, but a condition called seasonal affective disorder (also known as SAD) may lead to a certain form of deppression in some people.

Seasonal depression is commonly known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is a form of depression occurring each year at a given time. It usually starts in autumn and winter and ends in the spring or early summer. The condition is much more serious than the “winter’s boredom” syndrome.


Causes of seasonal affective disorder

The definitive cause of the disorder has not been ascertained to date, but due to its high prevalence in certain regions, scientists believe that the disorder is due to a change in the amount of sunlight. Their theory is that since the sun’s exposure decreases in the winter and autumn is delayed compared to the biological clock of the body – which regulates sleep, internal states and hormones – it usually follows that a slowdown of biological functioning occurs in the winter. Another theory is that brain chemicals that transfer data between neurons (nerves) to nerve transducers (such as serotonin) vary from person to person. Researchers believe that exposure to light can rebalance such inconsistencies.


Seasonal affective disorder symptoms

If you have these symptoms in autumn and winter for two consecutive weeks, it means you are suffering seasonal affective disorder.

Sorrow: All kinds of depression have this central symptom; In the case of SAD, too, the patient feels sad and absurd in most hours of the day.

Excessive appetite: In many forms depression, appetite decreases, but in winter, depression increases the appetite, especially a craving for sweets that are full of carbohydrates emerges.

Weight gain: When you eat a lot of sweets, you will gain waight.

Feeling tired and reduced amount of energy: A feeling of fatugue also descends on the affected person.

Feeling drowsy all the time: As with the animals that go to hibernation, those suffering from SAD do not want to leave the bed.

Difficulty in focusing: seasonal affective disorder does not only affect the body, but the ability of the affected person to focus and pay attention.

Irritability: Those affected with SAD can get easily irriatted

A desire to be alone: ​​SAD patients often want to be alone and not to be disturbed by anyone.

Seasonal Affective disorder (SAD)

How to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

If you feel that you have some symptoms of SAD, you can visit to a specialist physician. If it is diagnosed that you are suffering from this type of depression, you can use the following methods to prevent this disease from occurring again:

Try to spend your time outdoors as much as possible during the day. Even if the sky is cloudy, do not stay home, because there is still sunlight in the sky and you can benefit from it.

Use a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals. This gives you more energy and also reduces your tendency toward sweet and starchy foods.

Try to exercise for at least three days a week for 30 minutes.

If needed: In the winter months, you should be in touch with a friend.

Participate in group activities and do not disconnect yourself from the society. During winter, this will greatly help you.


How to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

It is possible to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with increasing light, but how?


1. Light Therapy: Recent research shows that light therapy can greatly with the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) prevention and treatment. Sometimes antidepressants are also used in combination with light therapy. Also, spending a day under the sun light can also help the patient. On the whole, exposure to the sun, both at home and at work, should be sought.


Light therapy for SAD is performed through fluorescent lamps that have a plastic cover (to neutralize ultraviolet radiation). The light intensity must be at least between six and eight fluorescent lamps. It is not necessary for the patients to look directly at the light. They can befit from light therapy while performing their daily routine, such as eating or reading, within a distance of one to two meters from the lights. This method is completely reliable and has proved effective in most cases. The use of this method, during the final hours of the day, causes insomnia in the individual. Most practitioners prefer to have their patients exposed to six fluorescent lamps for 30 minutes in the morning. In about two to four days, significant improvement emerges in the patients, and over the course of two to four weeks, patients generally recover from seasonal affective disorder. If light therapy is suddenly terminated, seasonal affective disorder symptoms rapidly re-emerge; therefore, this type of SAD treatment should continue throughout the low-light season.


2. Take a trip to places with more light: The experience of the depressed North of Europeans has shown that staying in a southern country will help in the seasonal affective disorder (SAD) prevention and treatment. You can also use the geographical diversity of your country and plan a trip to the warmer and sunnier regions.

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