How To Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Subodh / September 27, 2011

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a very common mood condition. This problem often occurs in people who live in climates where the weather changes quite a bit.

Another name for SAD is winter depression or seasonal depression. The harsher the weather the worse your depression can get. You are advised to see a doctor if you are not yet sure that seasonal affective disorder is your diagnosis, but the tips you see below should help.

Here are some ways to get rid of seasonal affective disorder:

Find some light therapy. The kits for this purpose are often found at health care supply stores, and they also can be found at pharmacies. It is recommended that you obtain a lamp that is between a brightness of 2,500 to 10,000 lux. You would sit in front of this light for as long as the doctor recommends, which usually is between 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Use an anti-depressant. This medicine can be obtained from the doctor by doctor’s prescriptoin. Usually the medications provided include Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Prozac, or the generic equivalents. Just be careful you do not become addicted to them and let your doctor know if you do.
  • ┬áSeek counseling. You can learn new coping skills when you see advice from the right qualified professional. Inspiration and encouragement can be gained from your counselor-client relationship.
  • Listen to uplifting or upbeat music. This could help at least cheer you up emotionally. It can help take the edge off of your depression and it will help you forget about your SAD for awhile.
  • Expand your support network. Socialization with people who have the same hobbies or interests as you helps immensely. You can also seek help in depression or SAD support settings, and these are available both online and offline. You can even join e-mail support groups that you can use as a venting ground day or night.
  • Go out in the sun as much as possible. This will help lift your SAD because you will gain the natural Vitamin D and lumens you need. This will help stimulate the mood-lifting chemicals in your brain. Just protect yourself with sunscreen, even if it is winter.
  • Let the light into your room in the morning. Maybe you will need lighter curtains and shades. This will help let the sun shine into your room so it is not so dark in the morning. This will further cheer you up in the event you have SAD.

More Advice

Be careful not to self-medicate or self-diagnose your condition. Always seek a doctor’s advice before receiving any kind of medical treatment for seasonal affective disorder.

Never take any prescriptions medications unless you are authorized a specific dosage. Furthermore, you should only take medications exactly as instructed to avoid overdose.

Another reason you should seek proper diagnosis is to make sure you do not have a more severe depressive or mood disorder. That, and proper treatment usually comes with knowing the specific cause of your SAD (i.e. melatonin or seratonin level imbalance, genetics).