Our caregivers in Philadelphia know that during this time of the year many people experience the “Winter Blues” which is a type of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that falls under depression. Why do we feel down during the winter months? It effects most people from the fall thru the winter and can make you feel moody and a loss of energy. However; in a few instances we find this disorder occurs in the summer as well. Some additional symptoms of SAD are depression most days, low energy, issues sleeping, and difficulty concentrating. There are some known factors that increase you risk of SAD which are age, being a female, family history, and living far from the equator where the winters are longer and darker.
What can we do to cure the “Winter Blues”? There are a few options to consider when seeking treatment. All options for treatment should first start with a visit to a doctor. The available options are light therapy, medications, psychotherapy, and supplements. Light therapy has shown to be effective in most cases; however, there is little research to back up this theory. The therapy involves a special light box that mimic natural outdoor light which help the brain with moods. Anti-depressant drugs such as Wellbutrin XL and Aplenzin have shown to relieve severe cases of SAD. Psychotherapy or best known as talk therapy develops ways to cope with the SAD as well as solution to implement the onset of the disorder. Some supplements that have shown to relieve the symptoms of SAD are St. John’s wort, SAMe, Melatonin, and Omega 3.
The most important thing to remember when trying to deal with SAD is to have a plan and follow the plan through. You are not the only one who is experiencing the “Winter Blues” and there are options out there for you to get better.