With "Blue Monday" right around the corner, (Jan. 20th), I thought it was appropriate to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder, (also known as SAD). This is a form of depression that appears in the late fall and may continue until March or April. In countries where the winter months are characterized by fewer daylight hours many people develop depression. In fact, in the more northerly parts of Sweden, where they get 6 months of near darkness, the suicide rate is the highest in the world!
Some studies suggest that up to 1 in 50 people have mood disturbances in the winter months. These disturbances can range from mild, (wanting to stay indoors and hibernate) to severe, profound depression. People with SAD may experience disturbed sleep, fatigue, lack of motivation or enthusiasm, lack of concentration, and anxiety in social situations. Over-eating and weight gain is also common and sufferers often prefer carbohydrate rich foods. There is a lot of negativity and poor self image associated with SAD, and the immune system and libido will both suffer.
So what can we do to treat/manage Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Homeopathy can bring about dramatic changes in mood and behaviour. A Homeopath can help create an individualized treatment plan specific to your needs and symptoms to help you manage depression.
The use of light boxes can be effective in mild cases. Counselling can help get to the root cause of depression and is highly effective. Good music, soothing scents, creative pursuits, exercise and a healthy diet all contribute to positive mental health.
If you or someone you know is experiencing SAD, please contact me for a free 15 minute consultation to discuss how I can help.