Without treatment the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder can last for months before clearing up in the late spring or early summer.Many of the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are similar to the symptoms of other depressive illnesses and include an overall sad mood, lose of motivation and social withdrawal. Two symptoms that are common in most people who suffer from SAD are the feelings of wanting to sleep more and eat more.For people with SAD getting out of a cosy warm bed on a cold, dark winter’s morning is a challenge and most will hit the snooze button on the alarm clock repeatedly before getting out of bed which can lead to a person being chronically late for work.The craving for foods high in carbohydrates (junk food etc) that result in a rapid boost in energy and lift in mood which are short lived before the cravings for more comfort foods return resulting in weight gain over time.Fortunately there is treatment available for seasonal affective depression and some take effect within days and improve mood, energy levels and food cravings rapidly and include:
Light Therapy – Designed to treat seasonal affected disorder a light box that emits 10,000 lux (intensity of light) have been found to be effective when used by people with SAD for an average of 15 – 30 minutes each day during the dark winter months until the spring or early summer. light box sad
Medication – If the symptoms of seasonal affective depression are severe and are having a major impact on the overall quality of life then consult your local doctor for medical advice. Many people find relief from a seasonal affected disorder through the use of antidepressants or when using these drugs alongside light therapy to help boost recovery. However these drugs do take a number of weeks before having an affect and can have side effects so discuss both of these issues with your primary health care practitioner before deciding to use medication.