Do you get sick as soon as the winter approaches? You may be suffering from a seasonal affective disorder (SAD), just like 5 percent of Americans. Starting at the tail end of fall and persisting through the winter season, the seasonal affective disorder can leave you depressed and anxious.
Some people often pass it off as “the winter blues,” but SAD is magnitudes more serious. Research links a chemical imbalance stemming from shorter daylight hours and less sunlight during the winter as the primary cause of SAD.
What is SAD?
The seasonal affective disorder, also abbreviated as SAD, is depression that gets triggered by the changing seasons. The ailment is prevalent in people in colder, harsher climates where sunlight may be minimal during winters. Most cases of this disorder affect women more than men, although researchers aren’t sure why.
While most cases of seasonal affective disorder relate to winter conditions, some people also suffer from SAD in the summer months.
Symptoms of SAD
People suffering from SAD often depict several symptoms. These symptoms can range from feelings of worthlessness to suicidal thoughts. Other symptoms include depression, anxiety, change in appetite, fatigue, and increased purposeless physical activity.
SAD symptoms typically manifest in individuals between 18 and 30.
Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder
Medical professionals treat seasonal affective disorder in a variety of ways. Common treatments include light therapy, antidepressants, and cognitive-behavioral therapy.
Light therapy is one of the most common and effective ways to treat SAD. Medical experts often recommend using medical therapy lamps to improve one’s well-being. These lamps work wonders since most people suffering from SAD crave sunlight, which isn’t accessible. Moreover, medical therapy lamps typically use radiators to produce artificial light that simulates the sun’s rays.
Light therapy uses these lamps and other lightboxes to help patients. In addition, studies have found that using light therapy to treat SAD is not only helpful but has some of the highest efficacy rates among all treatment methods.
Many medical experts also suggest using an infrared sauna to treat SAD. The infrared sauna provides the heat and warmth people suffering from SAD crave. Most far infrared saunas use infrared lights to create heat, making them an excellent option for SAD treatment.
Most doctors recommend antidepressants to treat SAD. SAD treatment requires an intake of medication known as Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI). SSRI medication regulates serotonin in your body, improving your mood.
Bupropion is another approved medication that you can take for your SAD. It’s an extended-release medication. However, while it improves your well-being, you’ll have to ensure that you take doses regularly.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Many people refer to cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) as talk therapy. CBT focuses on upending the views of individuals with SAD by helping them focus on more positive aspects. Most people suffering from SAD have a negative outlook on winters. However, CBT therapy assists individuals in proactively coping with wintertime. Most CBT focuses on giving individuals the tools to identify and participate in enjoyable activities to prevent the onset of SAD.
A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that utilizing CBT in conjunction with Light therapy yields the most significant results in people suffering from SAD.
Treating Your Case of Seasonal Affective Disorder
If you’re suffering from a seasonal affective disorder, we recommend consulting a doctor. The doctor will likely prescribe you medication and encourage using a lightbox. R Health Products Co. has numerous Saunas And Medical Therapy Lamps that you can use for your treatment.