So, I have self-diagnosed myself with SAD. I've decided that the next investment I make won't be in the stock market, it will be in buying a light box. They sell ones that sit on your end table or desk and they simulate daylight. Well worth the $80-90. It beats the price of flying to sunny Florida.
The actual symptoms of SAD are:
- Loss of energy
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods in carbohydrates, i.e. cookies
- Weight gain (from the cookies)
- Difficulty concentrating and processing information
Causes can be:
- An increase in melatonin, a sleep related hormone that has been related to depression.
- A decrease in serotonin, a natural brain chemical, which is caused by a decrease in sunlight.
- A disruption in your circadian rhythm which is a physiological process that helps regulate the body's internal clock.
- Northern locations
- Family history (potential genetic component)
If you have severe symptoms please see a physician. Light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy are possible treatments. But remember that spring is JUST AROUND THE CORNER. I know because it's lighter later and they're starting to sell the gardening products in the stores!!!!! :) When you think that March is only a month and a half away it doesn't sound so bad. I'm starting to plan my garden and this is better therapy than any drug can offer!! Get out in the sun for 15 minutes and get your vitamin D. Have a great day!
Adapted from mayoclinic.com/health/seasonal-affective-disorder, retrieved January 12, 2009