Fall Depression – Seasonal Affective Disorder

We are moving into winter, and daylight  savings time has come and gone. If you are sensitive to light, you may well  be having less energy, have a low mood, trouble with mental acuity, and many  other symptoms of depression. If you realize that this is true for you every  fall and winter, you most likely have Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Although some people find they feel worse in the summer and need to wear sun glasses, most of us effected by light changes and shorter days  experience it more in fall and winter.  Some of the symptoms that are easily noticed in our selves are craving carbohydrates and not wanting to be social.

The good news is that this is all pretty easy to fix: use a light box. Figure out a routine in your daily life so that you can be in front of a light box for whatever period of time you need. You can be working at a desk or walking on a treadmill; there are different sizes of light boxes that suit all these activities. There are even light box visors that allow you to move around doing whatever you like while you get your light.

Your medical doctor or a psychotherapist can put you in touch with reputable companies that sell light boxes.  Learn how they work and get started. Most people get results in 1 to 3 days. Good Luck!

Can depression be treated without drugs?

Question: My therapist says I have depression, and I guess I do, but he wants me to try antidepressants and I don’t want to use medication. What can I do?

It would be important to know how severe your depression is to make specific suggestions. You may be interested in a brief Self Evaluation for Depression or information about Types of Depression. Depression can be very serious and should be treated. Successful treatment can be life-altering even for mild to moderate depression. Fortunately, if you want to avoid the use of medication there are some options, but what will works depends a great deal on how severe your depression is.

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