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S.A.D. in Winter

SAD in Winter

Do you notice a change of mood during the winter months?

Around 7% of the population suffer from a condition that is known as "Seasonal Affective Disorder" (SAD).

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a type of winter depression that affects approximately half a million people during the winter months.

The main symptoms of SAD are:

  • Depression
  • Sleep Problems
  • Lethargy
  • Over Eating
  • Loss of Concentration
  • Social Problems
  • Anxiety
  • Loss of Libido
  • Mood Changes

It is caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus which is due to shortening of daylight hours and lack of sunlight in winter months.

Light therapy using a light box has been shown to be effective in around 85 per cent of diagnosed cases. This means exposure, for up to four hours per day (average 1-2 hours) to very bright light, using a specially designed light box.

Light treatment should be used daily in winter, it is best to start in autumn when symptoms first appear.

People can still carry out normal activity such as reading, working, eating, while stationary in front of the box. It is not necessary to stare at the light.

There is also some evidence, that regular outside exercise such as walking in the daylight for around thirty minutes three times a week will help with low mood or depression.

If you know you have a tendency towards SAD outdoor exercise has the double benefit of helping depression and gaining some natural day light.

Talking therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Theory (CBT) or Counselling can help with SAD, counselling will help you cope better and enable you to make changes in your daily routine to improve your mood and emotional well- being.

If you would like to find out more about SAD and how counselling can help, please call me or email me. Counselling sessions take place in safe and comfortable rooms at the Health Hydro Swindon.

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