Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - 7 Tips To Help Get You Through The Blues

by Joe Stevens - Date: 2006-12-03 - Word Count: 723 Share This!

Seasonal Affective Disorder or "SAD" can greatly affect a persons mood. SAD is a common type of depression that affects some people during the change of seasons when there is less or no sunlight. This is a condition that's really not understood by doctors, but it's thought to be related to the amounts of melatonin and serotonin in your body. It's believed that a chemical imbalance occurs which is caused by a lack of sunlight. This most common in the months of September through April. There are some things that can be helpful to individuals that suffer from this condition. Below are a few things that you can do.

#1. Exercise - It may seem tough to get going, but it's proven to work for many people. Not just a casual stroll through the park though. I'm talking about really getting out there and working up a sweat. You can go for a brisk walk, run distance, hill sprint (this is an excellent workout), hit the exercise bike or treadmill, do calisthenics, go swim laps, ect. Heck, you may want to stack rocks or chop wood, it doesn't matter, but just make certain not to cheat yourself. The idea here is to feel better and you've got to do what it takes in order to do that. Make certain to stretch your entire body very well before and after you exercise. This will reduce soreness and also reduce your risk of injury.

#2. Step into the light - Whether it's outside for physical activity or turning lights on inside the house, get yourself into the light. Sitting next to a bright lamp and reading a good, positive book or magazine or perhaps writing down how you're feeling can help. Open the blinds and let light into the house (unless it's dreary outside).

#3. Phone Someone that you trust - Everyone needs someone that they can confide in, whether it's a close friend or family member. Just make certain that they're trustworthy. It's nice to be able to call someone up and just dump some dirt from time to time.

#4. Join a support group - You're not alone. There are many others that suffer from some form of depression and it's very likely that there are support groups in your area. It really helps to talk to others that know exactly what you're going through. Call your primary care physician and have them recommend one or, if you don't have insurance or a regular doctor, simply look in the yellow pages under "mental health".

#5. Antidepressant Medication - Don't be afraid to admit that you've got a problem that needs to be dealt with. We are only human and you're not the only person to suffer from this problem, so don't go feeling guilty about asking for help. There are many antidepressants available now that can help you to get back on track. Don't wait though as it normally takes three to four weeks for these medicines to build up in your blood stream and have full affect. Also, many people react differently to these medications, that's why there are more than one and you may not get the one that will help you right off the bat. The best thing to do is call your doctor and make an appointment to speak to him or her.

#6. Phototherapy Lights - This has been proven to be helpful for some individuals. In as little as two hours a day, the results have been very positive. Speak to your doctor about this.

#7. Find a purpose - This is something that you do enjoy or used to enjoy before you started feeling down. Totally throw yourself into this project so that you don't have time to think about being sad. This project could be writing a report, cooking (be careful here so you don't pack on the pounds), arts and crafts or music to name a few. If you play an instrument, why not write or learn some new songs? This is very helpful to me as I play the guitar. It's very therapeutic to be able to pour your feelings out musically. The point is to find something that you like or that you're good at (or both) and keep yourself occupied.

Although this type of depression can be difficult to deal with, it can be manageable with the proper care and activities. The sun will shine again.

Related Tags: exercise, depression, mental health, medication, sad, doctor, seasonal affective disorder, sunlight

Joe Stevens is a disabled veteran that writes articles on different topics that interest him or affect him. You can read several more articles on depression by going to or by simply clicking on what is the symptoms of anxiety and depression

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