Seasonal Affective Disorder is a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year. It often occurs during the times of year where there is a lot less sunlight. In many cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Symptoms include feeling down most of the day, losing interest in things you once enjoyed, having problems with sleeping, having difficulty concentrating, feeling hopeless, and more. There are many treatments for seasonal affective disorder which includes light therapy (phototherapy), talk therapy, and medications. There are also things you can do at home to help like taking vitamin D supplements, buying a sun lamp, and exercising.
Low levels of vitamin D can often be caused by not getting enough exposure to SAD. People with SAD have often been found to have low levels of Vitamin D. You can work to replenish your vitamin D intake by heading to your local drug store and buying vitamin D supplements. Please note that this shouldn’t be a solution used alone, but rather could help in part with some of these other strategies as well.
Light Therapy / Sun Lamp
Bright light therapy, using a special lamp, can help treat SAD. Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, has white fluorescent light tubes covered with a plastic screen to block ultraviolet rays and is ultimately 20 times brighter than regular indoor light. Never look directly at the light, but instead place the lamp about two to three feet away while you read, eat, work or do other activities.
Exercise can be a useful tool for anyone suffering from depression. High intensity exercise releases the body’s feel-good chemicals called endorphins, resulting in the “runner’s high” that joggers report. Even low-intensity exercise spurs the release of proteins called neurotrophic or growth factors, which cause nerve cells to grow and make new connections. The improvement in brain function from these new connections makes you feel better.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of talk therapy that has shown it effectively treats SAD, producing the longest-lasting effects of any treatment approach. Along with other medications, talk therapy can help in eliminating depression quite easily. Psychotherapy is used for helping the person dealing with depression find the root cause of the daily stresses. It analyzes the common factors that cause daily stresses in an individual and how to get rid of the same. It might also encourage the individual to take the required medications regularly. If this approach sounds like the best fit for you, you can book a consultation with Life Balance Therapy. We offer both professional online therapy solutions and in-person therapy in San Antonio, Texas for depression. We are here to help you cope, reframe your way of thinking, and help you feel hopeful again. You can’t suppress depression and/or anxiety in hopes that it will go away. You have to face it head on. Let’s start this journey. Click HERE to learn more.