Handling Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mental condition that is characterized by the changing of seasons. Most often people think of it as the winter blues. But changes in mood can also occur during the warmer months. This can be an overlooked form of depression, yet one that can affect anyone, regardless of geography. As we head towards the beginning of fall here is some information and tips to combat letting the weather get you down. 

Symptoms of SAD

  • Feeling Depressed
  • Loss of Energy
  • Loss of Sleep
  • Over Sleeping
  • Appetite Changes
  • Irritability

Who SAD Affects

1 in 5 people suffering from SAD have some form of bipolar disorder. Consequently, this leads to periods of mania and hyper depression. Yet this doesn’t mean a person must suffer from a separate mental illness to experience the effects of SAD. It’s been shown that 25% of people living in the northern and southern thirds of the planets show signs of this disorder. 

Ways to Naturally Fight SAD

  • Enjoying outdoor activities. It’s easy to get cabin fever when it’s cold out. Bundle up and enjoy some winter recreation. Skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing or a simple walk will benefit the mind. 
  • Use music to uplift your mood. Choose something that is a bright, vibrant sound. It’s difficult to be sad if you’re dancing!
  • Choose sleep patterns to maximize the amount of sunlight you’re awake for. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier to avoid the long periods of darkness. 
  • Brighten up your home with more lamps and keep the blinds open anytime the sun is out. 

How Melatonin Effects SAD

Melatonin is a sleep-related hormone our body naturally produces to induce sleep cycles. Researchers have found that it works with your body’s photoperiodic changes. Meaning its levels in the body change with the amount of light you receive. This is further evidence that in winter months having bright rooms can change your energy level. Lastly, while it is naturally occurring, there are oral supplements that work to normalize the hormone in the body. 

Can Ketamine Help Seasonal Depression

Ketamine is making breakthroughs as a faster-acting antidepressant. If the winter blues do come, its ability to work quickly is paramount. And, unlike traditional SSRI’s, ketamine doesn’t have to be a lifetime medication. When the spring comes around and the seasonal depression is gone, you aren’t stuck chemically dependent upon medication.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love is experiencing seasonal affective disorder and looking for a medical option. Give us a call at (385) 474-6946 to schedule a free consultation. Enjoy the fall and keep a positive mind state this winter. 

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