Living Well: 1/08/14 Seasonal Affective Disorder

- Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, results in depression, fatigue, overeating and difficulty concentrating during the Fall and Winter months. Its more prevalent the further north you live. It also runs in families and 80% of those affected are women. Seasonal signs and symptoms need to be present for two winters in order to establish a diagnosis.

Treatment Tips: Let the sun shine in. Let as much light into your house as possible by removing drapes, installing skylights and painting the walls a light color. Getting some activity outdoors each day is a must. Also, eat a balanced diet that includes healthy sources of fat, such as seafood and nuts, while limiting sugar intake.

Use light therapy. Dawn simulators and light boxes provide lighting that is similar to the sun. Use it for 30 minutes daily.

Explore medicine. If your symptoms don't improve with these tips or they are severe, call your doctor. There are many different medicines that can help combat the winter blues.

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