In our previous blog, we mentioned how winters can be a time where Seasonal Affective Depression (S.A.D) can be triggered due to the low sun exposure and longer nights. Today, we’ll be looking at treatment options that are available to help us with S.A.D.
Seasonal Affective Depression (S.A.D) can be triggered due to low sun exposure and longer nights
Seeking professional help with severe depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation is necessary hence these treatment methods are not to substitute the traditional therapy or counseling for SAD but to make you aware of the available options. Consult a therapist or counselor and observe which of these techniques work well for you. SageAdvice, your ‘Personal Support System’ is always available if / when you feel the need.
Following are ways in which SAD can be managed:
- Light therapy: Since limited exposure to light is one of the main causes of SAD, light therapy is effective in the treatment. Full-spectrum light comes from a box, visor or a lamp that mimics the natural light and the individual is exposed to it from 15mins to 1.5hours depending upon the need. Approximately 50% of clients report full remission of symptoms through light therapy.
- Medications: Along with therapy, a physician can be consulted for suitable medications.
- Psychotherapy: This type of therapy can help gain insight into negative thought patterns and behaviors as well as learn healthy strategies to cope with the stress induced by SAD.
- Aromatherapy: Aromatic essential oils can be used for healing and treatment. It enlightens our mood and promotes positive well-being.
- Vitamin D supplements: Exposure to sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D but in cases where there is a deficiency of vitamin D, supplements are given to improve the symptoms.
- Omega-3 oils: Research has shown that omega-3 oils help treat depressive symptoms at a rate similar to that of antidepressants.
- Exercise: Exercise is something we have been emphasizing on a lot and how essential it is to just take 15mins out of your day to exercise.
- Yoga therapy and meditation: Yogic breathing exercises, meditation and guided imagery techniques are seen to be effective in stress and depressive symptoms reduction.
These widely used techniques have supportive literature in reducing depressive symptoms and should be used after consulting the doctor. Living with a mental illness is not easy and when facing symptoms of S.A.D, we suggest you take every chance you get to go out, be in the sun and interact with others. Even if going out for you is not an option, make sure you have natural sunlight coming into your house. Keep your mood a bit sunnier even in those dark winters.