You may’ve found yourself a little sluggish and having trouble greeting the new day with enthusiasm in the last couple of weeks. You’re probably not alone in suffering from a condition called “Seasonal Affective Disorder. ” Lynn Martin, the director of student counseling at Des Moines University, says it’s a condition that’s a form of depression, and the thing that differentiates it from other types of depression is that it occurs in the winter when we don’t have sunshine.
Martin says there are several symptoms of SAD. She says there’s a tendency to crave starchy sugary foods and that leads to weight gain, lethargy, inability to get up and have energy in the morning and sometimes decreased concentration and focus. Martin says people who suffer from SAD have an overall depression. She says you sometimes have a decrease in libido or sexual interest, or a decrease in interest in things that’re generally pleasing, such as going out with friends.
Martin says a quick treatment for SAD is to fly somewhere where it’s sunny. If you can’t do that — she says there are some artificial treatments using a special lamp.
She says they recommend you sit in front of the lamp for a half and hour to two hours a day while doing things like reading, writing or knitting.
Martin says SAD is a serious, but treatable problem. She says in most cases season affective disorder is not seen as quite the severity of a major depressive disorder, but she says it can all depend on the circumstances. Martin says surveys show approximately one out of every 10 people has seasonal depression. For more information, visit the National Organization for Seasonal Affective Disorder’s website at:www.nosad.org.