Friday , February 3 2023

how to deal with seasonal affective disorder


With the clocks returning and the cooler temperatures inside, there is no concealment from the fact that the winter is on its way.

For some rushing long walks and accumulation by the fire, watching the snow falling out is something to look forward to. However, for others, there is nothing worse than winter – especially for those with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

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What is a seasonal affective disorder?

SAD is a type of depression that tends to occur at about the same time each year, usually during the winter. "As winter approaches, some people will feel less tired, less tired and less motivated to continue to be active and engage in social activities," says Dr Abby Hyams. "The SAD is partly due to the reduced exposure to sunlight during the shorter autumn and winter days."

According to the NHS, this situation is about 2 million people in the UK and over 12 million people in northern Europe.

What are the symptoms of SAD?

The signs that you suffer from seasonal affective disorder are similar to the symptoms of depression but come only around the winter months. Here you should watch:

  • A persistent low mood that starts in the autumn or winter.
  • Lack of interest in socialization.
  • Feeling desperate.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Irritable.
  • Excessive food consumption and weight gain (there is often a craving for carbohydrates).
  • Increased sleep and drowsiness during the day.

    What are the best treatments for SAD?

    There is no cure for SAD, but there are many things you can do to avoid the symptoms:

    ✔️ Embrace natural light: Exposure to natural light can help people with SAD feel better. Even the winter days can be bright, especially around midday, so go for a short walk outdoors. Wear soft clothing that reflects natural light can also be beneficial.

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    ✔ Exercise: Though darker evenings and cold weather may make you want to hide under your quilt, the best thing to do during the winter is to maintain physical activity. This can help you increase your mood and increase energy levels.

    Avoid Stress: During winter, people with SAD are more likely to feel anxious, so it's a good idea to avoid it wherever you can. Plan any major events in the summer months instead of winter, and try stress management tips such as meditation and yoga if you are experiencing emotional difficulties.

    "The best thing to do during winter is to maintain physical activity"

    ✔ Eat well: SAD sufferers often want foods rich in carbohydrates, such as pasta, bread and potatoes. Although carbohydrates are essential, it is important to eat as part of a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

    ✔ Use a light box: "Your treating physician may advise you to try phototherapy," says Dr. Hyams. "This uses a light box to simulate sunlight and compensate for reduced exposure to light in the winter." They are available in different strengths and sizes and are at least ten times the intensity of home lights.

    ✔ Travel: If you can afford, go on holiday in a more sunny climate could be a very effective way to reduce the symptoms of SAD. However, it is a good idea to talk to your physician beforehand, as it may happen that your condition will temporarily become worse when returning to the UK.

    In more serious cases, says Dr. Hyams, your general practitioner may recommend "therapy speeches such as cognitive behavioral therapy, counseling or even medication to help you spend the winter months."

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