BY YASIR ALHUMAIDAN
With this gloomy weather, many Midwesterners develop a seasonal phenomenon called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this condition affects more females than males.
Edgewood Director of Health Services, Kimberly Moreland, said, “Refer them to a provider who’s knowledgable about that area.”
The evidence-based website, uptodate.com, defined SAD as “recurrent episodes of major depression, mania, or hypomania with seasonal onset and remission.”
In other words, it is when you get sluggish and depressed due to the weather, regardless what season.
The uncommon type of SAD occurs in the summer. According to uptodate.com, These episodes are usually marked by typical symptoms of depression, such as insomnia and decreased sleep, and decreased appetite and weight loss. Sometimes people mistakenly think they are suffering from regular depression, but they are actually experiencing SAD.
“Anti-depression medications, sometimes with bright light therapy, dawn simulation or psychotherapy can help,” said Moreland. “If these are not effective, melatonin therapy.”
Melatonin is a hormone that helps with sleep, and this hormone is lower in winter in the Midwestern climate.
Increasing this hormone through supplements is another way of treatment.
Moreland said light therapy is the most effective treatment. “You can buy light therapy kits online on your own, but I think it’s always good to go through a medical provider,” said Moreland. UpToDate encourages people with SAD to take daily walks outside, even on cloudy days, and aerobic exercise. Also, enhancing indoor lighting with regular lamps, and finally waking up with light.
Psych Central, the Internet’s largest and oldest independent mental health social network, said 60 to 90 percent of people with SAD are women.
“If you are a female between 15 and 55, you are more likely to develop SAD.” Moreland said, ”Women are more affected by depression than men in general.”