How Can I Be Sure I Have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

sad lights

I don’t know about you, but I’m not the biggest fan of the winter time.  Maybe it’s just because I’m from California, but I don’t cope well with the weather.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good snow every now and then, but living with short days and cold temperatures can wear on your psyche and sometimes be downright depressing.  Well, there may be a clinic and scientific reason why you and I feel this way about the winter months. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. 

One of the basic and main causes of SAD is lack of sun light.  Areas that deal with long winters and little sun light are prime spots for Seasonal Affective Disorder to work.  If you feel depressed often in the winter time, you may have SAD.  Here’s a few of the common symptoms associated with SAD.

Symptoms often include an increase in fatigue and need for sleep.  Another common symptom involves increased appetite and cravings for carbohydrates.  Increased eating habits naturally lead to weight gain.  Many of the symptoms are mental, involving increased anxiety, difficulty interacting with others and difficulty dealing with rejection.  Sometimes, symptoms even include heavy feelings in the arms and legs. 

Many of these symptoms are similar to depression, but occur year after year in the winter time.  Those who have SAD can seek SAD lamp therapy to reduce the symptoms. 

What Is SAD? (Seasonal Affective Disorder)

sad lights

Sometimes, the weather outside is frightful but our lives are not so delightful.  During the winter months, we become susceptible to low moods and depressive modes that are easy to fall into, and very difficult to climb out of.  If you are feeling these symptoms often during the fall and winter months, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is characterized by several symptoms.  Some of the more common symptoms include a significant lack in energy, feeling lethargic or constantly needing sleep.  Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is also characterized by an increase in appetite, followed by weight gain. 

Some symptoms are more mental than physical.  People with SAD can feel intense anxiety, and have increased desires to be alone and withdraw from friends and family.  It can even become difficult to focus on tasks and concentrate.  For women, Premenstrual Syndrome symptoms can increase.  Women, in fact, are much more likely to contract Seasonal Affective Disorder than men.  Around 70 to 80% of those who suffer from SAD are women. 

Geography can also play a factor in contracting this disorder.  People who live in extreme northern areas or extreme southern areas are more likely to contract SAD than others.  Long winters and lack of light can contribute.  Light therapy can be used to help those with SAD cope with the symptoms and achieve a normal lifestyle. 

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The Happy Light by Verilux

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