,

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Overcome SAD

As the mercury drops and the days get shorter, it’s tempting to go into hibernation. For many, this is more than just the “holiday blues” and actually manifests as a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (aptly abbreviated as “SAD”). If you’re concerned about yourself or a loved one, here are some common signs of the condition, along with a few tips for overcoming it.

Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is similar to general depression but usually clears up with the arrival of spring. Common signs include:

  • Low energy– feelings of sluggishness and a desire to sleep more
  • Increased appetite– often accompanied by cravings for carbohydrates, which can lead to weight gain
  • Feelings of depression, anxiety, and irritability

Practical Tips to Overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Light Therapy: Many people with winter depression turn to light therapy (phototherapy) for relief. You can purchase a lightbox (online, without a prescription) that mimics natural light and is much more powerful than regular light bulbs. Phototherapy is most effective when done first thing in the morning, for about 30 minutes. Dawn simulators, which gradually brighten your bedroom to wake you up, may also be helpful. Since SAD is associated with a decrease in natural light, try to get outside every day and keep the blinds open to let the sunshine in.

Healthy Diet: Instead of reaching for starchy comfort food, eat a healthy diet of whole foods, especially those rich in Vitamin D. You may want to consider a vitamin D supplement if you’re not getting enough of the nutrient through diet alone.

Exercise: Regular physical activity can help you combat the holiday blues (and lose weight if you’ve been eating too many carbs). For best results, try some aerobic exercise outside. Even a brisk walk can help lighten your mood.

Reflection: Daily journaling can serve as an outlet for negative feelings while helping you sort out your thoughts and identify depression triggers.

Socializing: Although it may be the last thing you want to do, make a point of planning plenty of social activities so you don’t isolate yourself.

Comprehensive Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

If SAD symptoms are interfering with your work and relationships, mental health treatment may be in order. Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital offers comprehensive, individualized mental health therapy that may include inpatient treatment, partial hospitalization, or intensive outpatient counseling.

,

Healthy Mental Health Strategies for Your Loved Ones To Develop

,

Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital Helps Teen Struggling with Thoughts of Suicide

,

February: Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. As experts in providing specialized mental health treatment, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is prepared to take on the challenging task of treating victims of teen dating violence at their facility and through community outreach.

,

Mental Health Awareness: A Guide for 2019

October was recognized as Mental Health Awareness month, but while that has passed us by, the discussion shouldn’t be limited to a single time of the year. It is more important than ever to address this delicate subject and oft-misunderstood mental illness in the light of the Thousand Oaks Shooting, and other prevalent tragedies like […]

,

Sally Anne Schneider Discusses Substance Abuse with K5News

Earlier this week, Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital CEO Sally Anne Schneider, as well as Director of Clinical Services Dr. Stacey Shaw sat down with K5News to discuss a range of topics related to women and alcohol, trauma, associated mental health issues and available treatment. This stems from a recent study published by the Institute for Health Metrics & Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.

The following were reported:

  • Researchers found that from 2007 to 2017, the number of deaths attributable to alcohol in the U.S. increased by 35%.
  • The overall death rate rose 24%
  • Alcohol-related deaths for men rose 29%
  • Alcohol-related deaths for women rose a shocking 85%

Dr. Shaw stated, one of the possible reasons why there was such a significant increase in alcohol-related deaths could be attributed to the shift in “cultural norms”. We are more welcoming to alcohol in our homes or places of work. This shift in our culture could create problems for those who are suffering from addiction, either because it enables them to continue to drink more, or they are simply not aware they have a problem.

Sally Anne Schneider said it best: “If you think you have a problem, and you can’t cut it in half successfully in 3 months, you might have a substance abuse problem”.

Someone may be using addictive substances to numb themselves from other mental health illnesses, such as depression or anxiety. Previously there were fewer effective methods of mental health treatment available and less awareness. That has thankfully changed, and facilities such as Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital are not only trained to provide care to patients in need of mental health treatment, they have designed programs specifically for women, known as the Women’s Connection Program and outpatient programs for substance abuse problems.

The Women’s Connection Program at Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital was designed specifically for women who are in need of mental health care. The inpatient program is geared towards offering a safe & welcoming environment, with the goal of treating depression, anxiety, and any trauma they might have experienced in the past.

If you or a loved one is in need of help overcoming addiction, or in need of any mental health care, please call us at (844) 202-5555 to speak with a mental health care counselor. Smokey Point Behavioral Hospital is proud to help positively impact the lives of those who are in our care.

The full interview with Sally Anne Schneider & Dr. Stacey Shaw is embedded below.