Monday, December 17, 2007

Are You SAD


Symptoms of winter-onset seasonal affective disorder according to the Mayo Clinic include:
* Depression
* Hopelessness
* Anxiety
* Loss of energy
* Social withdrawal
* Oversleeping
* Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
* Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
* Weight gain
* Difficulty concentrating and processing information

Should You Seek Medical Help
If your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, if you feel hopeless or have thoughts about suicide or if you rely too much on alcohol to ease the mood, you should see your doctor.

Treatment for SAD
* Take medications as directed and attend therapy appointments as scheduled.
* Expose yourself to as much light as possible. Open blinds. Get outdoors.
* Engage in physical exercise, which can help relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase SAD symptoms.
* Be nice to yourself. Get enough rest, eat a balanced diet and take time to relax. Avoid alcohol or non-prescribed drugs.
* Learn how to better manage stress.
* Socialize. Stay connected with people instead of withdrawing.
* Take a winter vacation in a sunny location.

6 comments:

Miss Trashahassee said...

Sheila,

Very good post and very important this time of year.

BFF,
Miss T

Marsha said...

Thanks Shelia

Marion said...

On the rainy, misty West Coast, where the Sun can be gone for days, it is a very real problem. Timely post, Sheila!

Sheila said...

Marion, I imagine with your climate, it takes quite an effort to avoid SAD and cabin fever.

Lorelei said...

A few of the ladies in my family suffer from this. They make a special lamp to use in the Winter to mimic the sun. It helps a little bit.

Naomi said...

That's a very good and interesting post Sheila. SAD is a common problem for many people over here in England in the Wintertime. Over here they sell special lamps which help. St Johns Wort is also a good herb to take at this time of year.