Seasonal Affective Disorder – Tips For Coping

Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD is a depressive disorder affecting sufferers during the dark mornings and evenings usually from late September through to the end of March. This disorder is thought to be caused by a chemical imbalance brought about primarily from the lack of sunlight during the dark winter months. Although this seasonal depression can sometimes be difficult to treat there are a number of things that will help the person who is suffering with seasonal affective disorder to cope and manage life during these difficult months.

Listed below are some proven ways to deal with SAD :


  • Light Therapy – also known as phototherapy, this is where you sit close to a light box which is specially designed to mimic natural daylight. Using a light box for a couple of hours a day during winter has been proven beneficial in treating seasonal affective disorder. Ask the advice of your family doctor on the type of light box to use


  • Natural daylight – during dark mornings and evenings make sure you go outside as much as possible during the daylight hours, also let as much sunlight into your home as possible by having blinds or curtains opened fully during the daytime


  • Exercise – exercising is a proven way of dealing with most depressive disorders and it works for SAD too, get as much vigorous exercise as possible, if the weather prevents you going out use an exercise cycle or similar indoor machine. Always check with your doctor if you are not used to exercising


  • Join a group or forum – it will be a great help to know that you are not alone in your suffering, if there isn’t a local group then consider an internet forum where you can share your experiences and coping mechanisms with others


  • Antidepressant medication – discuss medication with your doctor, he or she may feel you would benefit from a course of antidepressants during the winter months, remember to seek treatment early as this type of medication takes time to start working


  • Take up a winter hobby – find a hobby or pastime that you can do regardless of  weather or daylight hours, make sure this is something you enjoy doing and you will find you have less time to feel sad or depressed


So, if you tend to start feeling depressed as the winter months get close and feel down for most of the time during the dark mornings and evenings then you are probably someone who suffers from seasonal affective disorder and you will benefit from taking action as shown above.


© Andrew Tudor Jones