Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Options For Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of cyclical depression where those affected find they experience significant mood changes at the same time every year. Most people experience SAD in the winter but it can affect people at any time and is recognized by occurring annually and being a significant change from normal.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Latest Treatment Options

The latest treatment options for SAD combine an understanding of the cyclical nature of this mood disorder, natural treatments to reduce depression, light-therapy and coping mechanisms to address how attitude can shift symptoms for some.

Light Therapy

Light therapy has long been known to benefit people with SAD, but it is not effective for everyone. A daily high dosage of light is especially helpful to those who suffer from SAD in the autumn and winter months, as it is believed the low amount of sunlight directly contributes to their condition. Light boxes can be made relatively easy for those who cannot afford to purchase one and provide light therapy during gray months.

Vitamin D Therapy

Along with the light provided by the sun vitamin D is another critical element which sunlight helps the body produce and which is low in people with SAD. Vitamin D has been found effective in combination with treatments for other depressions as well. Vitamin D can be taken in supplement form.

Negative Air-Ion Therapy

Negative Air-Ion therapy is conducted with an electric device to change the electron flow rate that charges air particles. A high flow rate has been found to effectively treat people with SAD in some studies. Its effectiveness was equal to that of light therapy while requiring less time intensive involvement of the patients since the machine can be turned on but does not require the person to sit in front of it for an hour or more to gain the benefits.

Social Engagement

Being social can affect attitude and mood in positive ways which are therapeutic for those with SAD. Depression leads to fatigue and a loss of desire to engage in normal activities but maintaining some social interaction can support a SAD patient decrease their symptoms.

Combined with stress management, a balanced diet and support from loved ones Seasonal Affective Disorder can be managed. Once you know your cycle you can prepare for it and prevent the disorder from taking over by engaging in the therapy you prefer.