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‘Tis the season….for Seasonal Affective Disorder.
What is that?
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a period of depression or anxiety that comes during certain seasons. This usually occurs in the winter, most often because of the lack of sun and vitamin D, and the disgusting weather and cold.
It can cause someone to feel like a completely different person. If you feel sad, hopeless or depressed when the weather changes, you could have SAD.
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How Do I Know If I Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?
As mentioned, you usually feel like a different person in certain seasons. Check out these questions on the Canadian Mental Health Associations Website to see how you stack up. Do you:
- Feel like sleeping all the time?
- Don’t sleep well at all?
- Feel helpless? Overwhelmed? Guilty? Irritable?
- Feel more introverted?
- Do you feel less interested in activities you normally love?
These are just a few ways that you may feel in you have SAD. If you can say yes to any of these questions, reach out to your doctor.
Why Should You See A Doctor If You Think You Have SAD?
Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a serious thing. At times, you could feel hopeless, or even suicidal.
Even if you don’t feel like this, if you are suffering, it is important to get proper help. Your doctor can help you find someone to talk to, like a therapist. They can suggest medication and exercises you can try or other methods to help alleviate your symptoms.
Another reason you should see a doctor is in case it isn’t a seasonal depression. It could be a different type, or other things happening inside your body could even be the culprit for your feelings.
What Can I Do If I Have Seasonal Affective Disorder?
- As mentioned, it is so important to see a doctor.
- You may try different medications that your doctor may prescribe to alleviate your symptoms.
- He may get you to try vitamin D.
- You may need to try light therapy. Light therapy uses a specific type of light to help balance the chemicals in your brain that affect your mood.
I Get Seasonal Affective Disorder. How Can I Prevent It?
It isn’t easy to admit you get SAD. It is important to know and talk about it, however! We need to remove the stigma that comes to mental health.
- This isn’t an option for everybody of course, but we love to travel during the time that Seasonal Affective Disorder strikes. We love going to a place that has more sun and better weather.
- Reach out to others that have SAD. Having someone to talk to openly and honestly can be very therapeutic.
- Be proactive in treatment. If you feel yourself starting to go down, talk to a doctor BEFORE it is a problem.
- Exercise regularly. This is known to help with mood and self-image. Healthy bodies lead to healthy minds.
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- Eat properly. Getting proper nutrition not only feeds your body and keeps it healthy, but it gives you the energy to keep on top of things.
- Get adequate rest. This means not too little and not too much. It is so easy to oversleep especially when you are down. However, it is important to get the proper rest.
- Practice self-care. Showering, getting into clean clothes, taking relaxing baths may not seem like much, but it can drastically improve your mood.
Check out 24 Self Care Ideas Here
- Manage your stress. This isn’t always easy. However, by sticking to a schedule to help you keep on top of tasks, keeping a clean home and taking the time to destress, it can help keep you in a better frame of mind.
- Try and do outdoor activities. Fresh air is always so good.
- Try and reduce screen time if possible.
Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people. However, it doesn’t have to be a be all-end all every year. By taking care of yourself, you can overcome it, and even prevent it!
How do you prevent SAD? Comment below!