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Member Comments for the Article:
The Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
Beyond the Winter Blues
11/2/2013 1:08:59 PM
I live in Ohio, and tonight the time changes...it's early November and the days are getting noticeably shorter. I've heard that Vitamin D can help with SAD, so I increase that in my daily vitamin routine. Let me know if that's wrong.
I have SAD as well... of course I do! I live in Seattle, where it is no coincidence that we have the highest antidepressant and caffeine use in the nation. Self medicating and prescriptioni medicating! LOL.
I was part of a SAD study years ago, with a doc who is now considered an experet in the field. He explained that the little "reptilian" part of our brain, known as the pineal gland, becomes accomodated to a certain amount of light in our early years. If we grew up in a sunny clime and then move to a darker one, SAD may occur. Natives who live in an overcast environment in their early years do not suffer as much, or to the same degree as non-natives.
What most of you do not realize is that SAD is a form of bipolar disorder. There is a relatively new term called Bipolar II --and it falls within that category. (Bipolar I is the sterotypical one with the wilder swings in mood, etc.)
As a native Floridian, I COULD have had SAD last year or even the last 5+ years. But my theory is the symptoms were caused by a Vitamin D deficiency. Don't know how or why, but after finally paying for the test, my score was 13 out of 100, with optimum for health being 50 - 80.
And I feel much happier since taking 10,000 mg D3 daily. We're testing again soon to see if I should continue that dosage. It will be interesting to see if all the symptoms return.
I suffered (and I DO mean suffered!) from this while living in Michigan year ago. I moved, first to Florida and then to Arizona and I can say that it is definitely real issue for some. I never tried the light treatment, I just high-tailed it for the sunniest place I could find and it worked. To anyone who thinks this might be an issue for them PLEASE seek help, it can be very serious!
I have SAD and also live in Saskatchewan, Canada. I found that the light box helps a lot, I have used it in the past winters and I am back to using it now. SAD is very real, it makes me eat more, sleep more, feel sluggish, feel depressed.
As for the person who asked if it can happen in Summer, it can.
You can see from my Spark name, I live in SUNNY ARIZONA....We have more sunshine here than just about anywhere in the US. I really have never experienced SAD. I am one that WOULD if I lived in areas of the world where Fall and Winter brought cloudy weather constantly as I am UP with the sun, and down when it sets, though not way down, still , would be down all the time, if NO sun for 6 months like in the very far north. Thankyou God for my sunshine!!
I've been suffering with this for several years now. At first I took an antidepressant during the winter months but I stopped doing that because it seemed to be a hassle. So now I feel like I just suffer through it and so does my family unfortunately. It's even worse now because my husband doesnt work that much in the winter time, so we can't really do much in the winter either. So being stuck in the house, with the lights off to save energy is hard. Hopeing for a short winter!!
I used to love in Washington and having winter from November-March could be quite depressing. The lack of sunlight and warmth was not to my liking. Here in the South it reminds me of where I grew up in Southern California and I didn't have SAD this past winter even though it was colder than normal. The difference was the sunlight and warmth. I never purchased a light box but living in a warmer climate has always been the cure for me.~
I live in Saskatchewan, Canada and we have snowy/grey months for six months out of the year. When I was still in high school I'd never even heard of SAD, so mum thought I was just being moody. The way it affects me (besides lethargy and anxiety) is that if it's cloudy for too many days in a row I'll start to cry over any little thing. It doesn't matter if it's not something I'd normally cry about or not (once I started to cry because I had been planning to buy a toy watch for someone and it was sold out). It was really great getting to University and away from small town mentality. Someone actually recognized what I had and it helps to have people around you to support you.
One thing that I've found to work when I start to feel the symptoms coming is a vitamin called 'Sunshine in a bottle'. It's made specifically for SAD treatment and has D, C, and a wack load of other nutrients. I found it at a Sangsters (health food store in Canada).
Light makes SUCH a difference. I grew up in a climate that was COLD in winter, but the SUN came out often (even though it was -3 degrees). Now I live in a more temperate climate, but one that is GRAY (no sign of light/SUN) most days. It really does affect me. I would say that half of the items on the checklist in the article apply to me.
I have had SAD for years and it still is tough to deal. with The last few days leading up to today, the weather was cloudy/rainy (you don't get too many of those in Florida) and suddenly I felt like I needed more sleep, even with that I was dragging all day. Felt like I wanted to eat the paint of the walls (those cravings hit) and just felt so depressed. Nothing I did helped and it dawned on me -SAD is back! I hate it. But, reading this article and sitting under my light and reading the comments has helped a little. I love Spark People!
When I was a kid, I would find my energy dropping during the winter months, and then in spring I would get this burst of energy - I thought that was what "spring fever" was! Looking back, I was probably experiencing SAD (although it hadn't been given that name back then). When we visited Seattle, WA we noticed all the things the city did to reduce the effects of inclement weather on moods and depression (like keeping "Christmas" lights in the trees year-round for that boost in therapeutic light effect). And with the new emphasis on Vitamin D (which would be obtained from sunshine normally) and how many people are being diagnosed as deficient, this is another example of how our bodies were made to work in nature but our lifestyles have affected our natural rhythms and function.
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