Feeling SAD? How to Treat Seasonal Affective DisorderAlyssa
Feeling SAD? How to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
For some people, winter is the most wonderful time of the year, but not everyone shares this sentiment. There are plenty of people who struggle with seasonal affective disorder where the winter months are less than enjoyable.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a specific type of depression that recurs during certain seasons of the year. It occurs most frequently in the fall and winter months and is believed to be linked to shorter days and less sunlight. While less common, there are cases of seasonal affective disorder that occur in the summer and spring. There are seasonal depression treatments that can help reduce the severity and onset of symptoms.
The Best Ways to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
If you are struggling with winter depression you are not alone. Our holistic treatment center in Lake Worth has some tips on how to treat seasonal affective disorder to help you make it happily to spring.
Many scientists believe that seasonal affective disorder is connected to lack of sunlight in the winter that can affect the chemicals in the brain. Although it may be cold, spending some time outside and in the sun may help reduce symptoms of SAD.
One of the most effective ways researchers have discovered how to treat SAD is with light therapy, especially when there is no sunlight for natural light exposure. Regular phototherapy or light therapy can help people get the light they are missing and consequently change the chemicals in the brain to boost mood and decrease depressive symptoms.
Avoid Drugs & Alcohol
Many people are tempted to drown their sorrow in alcohol or drugs, but these substances will only make matters worse. While they may create an immediate sense of relief, in the long run they can make depression worse. Especially if this type of coping becomes a habit, an addiction may occur and dual diagnosis treatment becomes necessary.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Another seasonal affective disorder treatment that is effective for some people is meditation. Regular meditation and mindfulness practices have been proven to help with depression.1 These practices can help you better recognize your negative thoughts and learn how to distance yourself from them to keep them from controlling you.
Go on a Trip
If the weather is too much and the light therapy is not effective enough, it may be time to take a trip. Not only can a vacation to a tropical location give you the natural sunlight you need, but it can also provide a break from everyday stressors that may also be contributing to your depression.
Get Professional Help
How to treat seasonal affective disorder effectively will depend on the individual and their unique circumstances. Natural remedies alone may not be enough. If you are suffering from a severe case of SAD, it may be time to get professional help. Our depression recovery treatment in Palm Beach combines psychotherapy and antidepressants when necessary to help you find lasting relief.
Seasonal affective disorder is not something to brush off or to struggle coping with year after year. You should not have to dread the winter months or hibernate in your bedroom until spring. Our behavioral healthcare center in Florida could help you find lasting relief and learn to control your depressive symptoms.
If you or someone you love struggle with mental illness or behavioral healthcare problems, get help at Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches. Call us today at 561-220-3981.
- Harvard Health Publishing- How meditation helps with depression