Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)- A.K.A. “the winter blues”

Wow that’s a bunch of acronyms right up there…

Ok so Seasonal Affective Disorder- the definition from Google is below – saved you a step there, didn’t I?

“Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, and seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, most commonly in the winter.”

From the Mayo clinic website here are some symptoms of SAD:

“Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide”

You may have one or a combination of the above symptoms.

Ok, so does this sound like you or someone you know? If so you should talk to your doctor and see if you need to take further steps for your mental health but there are some other things you can add to the regime recommended by your doctor.

One amazing thing is a Seasonal Affective Disorder Light.  The basic premise of this light is that it must shine into your eyes (not directly but while you are looking at something else, say a computer screen) for about 20 minutes to 30 minutes per day.  Receptors in the eye are stimulated which triggers the release of Serotonin (the “happy” hormone).  These lights have been found to be very effective and I have recommended them for my patients.  I generally recommend them from the website below because I know that these ones have the right bulbs and light being emitted to stimulate the receptors mentioned above.

If you have more questions about this please don’t hesitate to contact me.

And if you do have thoughts of suicide, please tell someone.  You are not alone.

Suicide hotline for immediate help in Toronto call: 416-408-4357