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  • Kassie Weiland

Do You Suffer From Seasonal Affective Disorder?

I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have less energy and find myself a little sad during the rainy dark days. This isn't uncommon and is typically referred to as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression experiences during particular seasons of the year, especially in Michigan, where the days are shorter and we have less sunshine. Those who suffer from SAD or those around you will recognize the following symptoms:

· Lack of energy

· Difficulty concentrating

· Not wanting to see people

· Feeling sad, low, tearful, guilty or hopeless

· Feeling anxious, angry, and agitated

· Being more prone to physical health problems (e.g. colds, infections)

· Sleeping too much, difficulty waking up, sleeping too little, or waking up a lot

· Changes in your appetite (e.g. feeling hungrier or not wanting to eat)

· Losing interest in sex or physical contact

· Feeling suicidal

Everyone's symptoms vary and are best treated with light therapy. I find "bright light" therapy helps me on those gloomy days. Numerous studies have indicated that 80% of individuals have responded to bright light therapy with improved sleep and mood, greater energy, and enhanced focus, so you feel revitalized during the day.

If you want to give this a try, look for a light box that provides an exposure to 10,000 lux of light and produces as little UV light as possible. Typical recommendations include using the light box:

· Within the first hour of waking up in the morning

· For about 20 to 30 minutes

· About 16 to 24 inches from your face, but follow the manufacturer's instructions about distance

· With eyes open, but not looking directly at the light

Light boxes aren't regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for SAD treatment, so it's important to understand your options. Drop me a message and let me know how this simple solution works for you.

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