Seasonal Affective Disorder

  • Moishendlishu...

    Posts: 435

    Dec 05, 2010 6:24 AM GMT
    So does anyone have this? I think I do. Things are going really well for me, but I've been irritable and slightly depressed a lot recently. I'm not a fan of the holidays and never really have been, but regardless I've noticed this time of year always seems to be difficult for me.

    I've heard about the term S.A.D. and kinda thought is was bull...but now I'm not so sure. Thoughts?
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    Dec 05, 2010 6:50 AM GMT
    SAD usually affects people that live in regions with shitty winter weather, and very little sunlight.

    I think what you're experiencing is normal. Most people feel "depressed" during the holidays. Especially single people. Don't let it get you down. Go out and hang with your friends. Enjoy each other's company. icon_cool.gif
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:05 AM GMT
    I went from eight years in Phoenix to snowing 6" yesterday.

    -I'm feeling extremely emotional right now.
  • austinlee

    Posts: 96

    Dec 05, 2010 7:07 AM GMT
    Are you living in the cold area? When I was living in NYC, winter really depresses me because it's cold and it's depressing just siting home and not being able to go out often. It's never have been family thing.
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:34 AM GMT
    Why don't you volunteer for a good cause . Animal shelter , Homeless shelter , Hospice , Hospital ...... You will feel accomplished and less depressed , and help is always needed at these places .... icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 05, 2010 8:24 AM GMT
    SAD is VERY REAL!...and I have lived with it for my entire life! I am a native of Cleveland, Ohio, now living in Columbus....The sun disappears about November and reappears in March or April. SAD is the body's primal urge to hibernate. As this urge is ignored longer and longer into periods of less and less sunshine (duration and intensity) the body and brain change their chemistry and you become depressed...clinically and chemically.

    Typically, you want to sleep alot more and want to eat mostly large quantities of simple carbohydrates...which further stimulate your desire to sleep and become lethargic, irritable, a bit slower mentally, reclusive, etc.....The depression is also very real...and can range from almost none to suicidal.....mine has pushed me to suicidal 3 times, many years ago.....and is still fairly severe in the winter to this day.....

    There is no one single answer to the disorder....rather a combination of treatments that varies by person and from year to year...To combat SAD, I have a light box of EXTREMELY bright , full spectrum lights that I sit with while I read or eat or watch TV, or surf the web, etc....this is special light that simulates the intensity and wavelength of natural sunlight....also get regular exercise and go outside even on the coldest days to get some natural daylight. Also eat a better diet with lower simple carbs and more complex carbs and lower fat and higher protein. I also have a number of medications that I can work through the fall and winter....Lexapro and Prozac both worked for me...I also try to schedule a few weeks around the winter solstice to go to central or south Florida to get a bit more sunshine and break the depressive situation and cycle....It takes a few days for the body to recalibrate to the increased sunshine (solar radiation) and make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep ....not too much or too little....all of these together help me through a lake effect winter on the Great Lakes...and Columbus is considerably less effected than Cleveland, but still, pretty bad....

    I know that for me, I can start to notice a drop in solar intensity (and the beginning of my SAD) about August 1 each year and it is noticeable in the spring that it is starting to lessen around the 1st of March......For me, my doctors have calculated that I would need to live south of the latitude of Orlando, Florida to not have my SAD be the issue it is for me...... there is only a very small amount of the USA south of this latitude....that being in Florida, south Texas or Hawaii...There are several books on the topic and several studies and reports and article...but still not enough to really understand the way it works....so more research is needed.
    one of the original studies was done by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_E._Rosenthal)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder


    Good Luck!
    Gary icon_cool.gif
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    Dec 05, 2010 10:39 AM GMT
    Buy a seasonal affective disorder lamp and cod liver oil.
  • baldone

    Posts: 826

    Dec 05, 2010 12:49 PM GMT
    I can so relate..living right near the lake, erie that is ,the weather has turned cold, gray extremely cold this morning, and snow, lots of snow, that teamed with the holidays upon us, and having to decorate,shop, keep up with at 65 hour work week, and having a free loading son staying with me again has throwing me into my s a d much sooner than normal
    it is very real and like sporty have been medicated as a result
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    Dec 05, 2010 1:25 PM GMT
    SAD fucking sucks. It gets me really bad every year, and is the primary reason I moved to South Florida. Now, due to climate change or something, we're having colder-than-usual winters here, so it's even affecting me here (very depressed last winter and had to take off work a few weeks because of it).

    Now this winter is looking to be even worse than last year's, so I'm dreading the fuck out of it. If I could move souther, I would.
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    Dec 05, 2010 1:54 PM GMT
    lumino theraphy can work for SAD, you should documented yourself about it
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    Dec 05, 2010 2:34 PM GMT
    I think SAD is one of those tricky diagnoses. A lot of people get depressed becauses of the holidays due to financial and social stress. Holidays force you to see people you don't want to and it's all about gift giving and it lasts from November to Febuary.
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    Dec 05, 2010 4:16 PM GMT

    Not everyone is going to have a case of SAD as bad as Sporty_g relates. Before you invest in lightboxes, doctors, etc., try this simple cure: Make sure you get outside in the early morning light--as early as possible and definitely before the sun rises above the horizon. Take a walk or run or do an outside chore. Bundle up if you have to. Take the dog and you can cross that off your list as well. There is something about exposure to the color and intensity of early morning light that can resolve SAD symptoms for many people. If this works, you cured yourself for free. If not, then you can begin to take other steps as mentioned in the posts above.
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    Dec 05, 2010 4:46 PM GMT
    A lot of people complain about SAD, but it is not about not enjoying the holidays or cold weather as some have suggested -- it's about light. Not enjoying the holidays may be a result of having SAD. In my opinion, if you can't beat it with natural remedies that will replicate the effect of natural light on your body, it's not SAD. The simplest things work for me, and right now I'm dealing with 8 hours of dim daylight per day.

    Try these natural remedies before investing in a light box (you will probably still need to do these even if you do get one):

    1. Make sure you take advantage of the light you do have. Go outside during your lunch time and don't sleep in, wasting morning light.
    2. Replace your indoor light bulbs with full spectrum bulbs.
    3. Take at least 1000 IU of Vitamin D, and since it's fat-soluble, I take it with fish oil capsules.
    4. Exercise regularly to get your hormones pumping.
    5. Not so much related to sunlight, but take Vitamin B complex.
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:05 PM GMT
    SAD is NOT about cold weather and to a lesser degree, it isn't even about cloudy days, and it is not about "holiday blues", or money issues or relationship issues.....It is about the length of daylight and the intensity of the incoming solar radiation....if your depression is tied to anything of money issues, relationship issues, holiday blues, etc and not the duration and intensity of daylight , you are experiencing a different type of depressive episode...NOT Seasonal Affective Disorder.....
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:08 PM GMT
    I suffer from it. That's why I live in Miami Beach.
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:15 PM GMT
    I get down a bit.. but nothing where i'm super depressed i don't think.

    been living in seattle for the past 10 years and while we don't see a lot of sun during the winter it does come out the rest of the year. And i do notice a change in my mood when the sun is out.

    I snowboard a lot so i tend to get to the mountains and just put on my play list and carve up a storm with some friends.. This really does help even though i'm usually freezing my nose off and forming snotsicles more than half the time.

    other things like just getting out of the house helps a lot too.. even if it's just to see a movie.. go work out.. go play soccer..

    But yeah i do hear what you're saying.. my mood does go from super happy to moderately okay and sluggish during the winter.
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:18 PM GMT
    Take more vitamin D.

    It's not a 'disorder', it's called a season. And people, naturally, react to it.

    S.A.D. is nothing but a 'sad' attempt at creating another 'illness' for people to self-diagnose themselves with. It doesn't exist, and you're not 'ill' or 'sick', you're just human. Deal with it, and take responsibility.
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:47 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidTake more vitamin D.

    It's not a 'disorder', it's called a season. And people, naturally, react to it.

    S.A.D. is nothing but a 'sad' attempt at creating another 'illness' for people to self-diagnose themselves with. It doesn't exist, and you're not 'ill' or 'sick', you're just human. Deal with it, and take responsibility.



    I think you're confusing the word "disorder" with the word "disease". Nobody is claiming it's an illness. It's something that just affects the normal functioning of the brain. Yes, it's common in humans but not every human experiences it. Thus, it's a real disorder. People have different brain chemistries. Not sure the old "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" philosophy is apropos in this instance.
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    Dec 05, 2010 7:54 PM GMT
    Every year... around the second week of October, I begin to notice a difference in my mood.

    This year it was the fourth week in October. I've had it for years, but I prepare myself for it ahead of time every year.
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    Dec 05, 2010 8:00 PM GMT
    paulflexes said

    Now this winter is looking to be even worse than last year's, so I'm dreading the fuck out of it. If I could move souther, I would.
    It better not be! I'm not gonna play that 'save the coconuts' crap again!.. I'll dump this place and move to the place in PR! (latitude 16degrees)
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    Dec 05, 2010 8:01 PM GMT
    muscles4muscles said
    MeOhMy saidTake more vitamin D.

    It's not a 'disorder', it's called a season. And people, naturally, react to it.

    S.A.D. is nothing but a 'sad' attempt at creating another 'illness' for people to self-diagnose themselves with. It doesn't exist, and you're not 'ill' or 'sick', you're just human. Deal with it, and take responsibility.



    I think you're confusing the word "disorder" with the word "disease". Nobody is claiming it's an illness. It's something that just affects the normal functioning of the brain. Yes, it's common in humans but not every human experiences it. Thus, it's a real disorder. People have different brain chemistries. Not sure the old "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" philosophy is apropos in this instance.
    You are correct.. its a proven science of brain chemistry.
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    Dec 05, 2010 8:03 PM GMT
    Diagnosed over 15 years ago with it. Get yourself a 'light box' or go to a tanning bed for 10 mins doses. If you don't feel better after that, then chances are you're just depressed for other reasons.

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    Dec 05, 2010 8:05 PM GMT
    austinlee saidAre you living in the cold area? When I was living in NYC, winter really depresses me because it's cold and it's depressing just siting home and not being able to go out often. It's never have been family thing.


    Same here. I'm almost 2 different people in winter and summer. I've heard that the lack of sunlight also plays a role in this... blah. Vacation time!
  • Moishendlishu...

    Posts: 435

    Dec 05, 2010 9:42 PM GMT
    I've noticed it's the lack of sunlight in general....I don't do great on rainy or overcast days either (part of why I moved out of Seattle). But yeah, even though it's really sunny here in AZ right now, I'm finding myself more and more irritable and depressed...and it always happens around this time of year. So it may not be SAD...it may be something else...and those factors other have mentioned (money, being single) def play a factor.

    The thing is though, I've had this same issue for as long as I can remember and haven't always been broke or single when it happened.

    Good to hear others understand it though icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 05, 2010 11:38 PM GMT
    muscles4muscles said
    MeOhMy saidTake more vitamin D.

    It's not a 'disorder', it's called a season. And people, naturally, react to it.

    S.A.D. is nothing but a 'sad' attempt at creating another 'illness' for people to self-diagnose themselves with. It doesn't exist, and you're not 'ill' or 'sick', you're just human. Deal with it, and take responsibility.



    I think you're confusing the word "disorder" with the word "disease". Nobody is claiming it's an illness. It's something that just affects the normal functioning of the brain. Yes, it's common in humans but not every human experiences it. Thus, it's a real disorder. People have different brain chemistries. Not sure the old "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" philosophy is apropos in this instance.


    It has nothing to do with "brain chemistry." No "mental disorder" does. They are social constructs, and as such, they can be socially constructed. If something is biological that has an effect upon your mental state, such as sunshine, is no longer present, it does not mean that you have a "chemical imbalance." It means that you should take some damned vitamin D and figure out what is making you upset and change it. Saying that it is a "Seasonal disorder" is absurd, and is based upon nothing except a grouping of SYMPTOMS that are constructed into a diagnosis (that is, without any such thing as an objective scientific test in between symptom and diagnosis, as is the case with ALL "mental disorders"), and thus your assertion that it has anything to do with chemistry is false.

    What chemical test is done to PROVE this objective existence of this "disorder"? None. It's just that people called psychiatrists agreed that a bunch of symptoms that they identify are now grouped together to construct a "disorder" that they made up.

    Cancer is not a social construct. Cancer is a disease whether or not you believe you have it. A.D.D. and S.A.D. and any other mental "disorder" is a social construct: it does not exist outside the diagnosis. Certainly, people have mental and psychological issues and problems, but in identifying them as "disorders" or "illness", we are missing the whole point, confusing the origin, and thus coming to false presumptions of 'solutions'.

    If it's "chemistry", as you claim, what objective chemical test is done to prove the autonomous (that is, self-sustaining) existence of this "disorder"?

    I won't hold my breath.