Do you feel S.A.D.?
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Do you feel like every year around the same time you are just…SAD? There is an actual medical condition, which you could be suffering from known as Seasonal Affective Disorder…SAD.

SAD is a form of depression which normally occurs during the Winter months, but can be experienced during warmer months too. The Center for Disease for Control and Prevention has reported, “Seniors are at a greater risk of depressions including SAD, because they are either misdiagnosed or untreated.”

Photo obtained through Google Images

 

Interim Healthcare.com shares, Not everyone who experiences SAD is clinically depressed, but… Caregivers should be on the lookout for indicators of SAD in their older loved ones during the winter months.”

 

A few indicators and causes of SAD:

 

  • Vitamin D deficiency
  • Decreased Serotonin Levels
  • Disrupted Sleep Patterns
  • Increased Irritability
  • Appetite Changes
  • Low energy levels
  • Feeling hopeless and/or depressed nearly every day

 

Any one of these symptoms may not lead to a diagnosis of SAD, yet a combination of them with multiple days of occurrence is a reason to talk to your healthcare provider.

 

Women are at greater risk of SAD than men. Even though fewer men suffer from SAD, their symptoms tend to be more severe. What are treatments for SAD?

 

  • Light Therapy: Mimics outdoor light and has been linked to brain chemical changes, which in turn can improve mood
  • Vitamin D Supplements: Proper dosage under medical care. Current medical sources discourage using Vitamin D as the sole treatment of SAD
  • Exercise: Activity and movement relieve stress
  • Make environment bright: Winter can be gloomy…grey skies, earlier sunset. Do what you can to brighten your environment

 

Winter SAD has a greater number of sufferers but there is the likelihood of Summer SAD. A good practice is to begin treatment before your symptoms begin, especially if you know what time of year your SAD sets in.

 

This wraps up our January Series, “Healthy, Happier You in 2018.” In February we will begin our series, “Keep your Eyes on the Heart” where we will discuss both the eyes and heart care.

 

 

Reference:  Seasonal Affective Disorder. Accessed at:

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/seasonal-affective-disorder/index.shtml

Accessed on: January 10, 2018.

Reference: Combatting Seasonal Depression in the Elderly

Accessed at http://www.interimhealthcare.com/news-media/news-desk/combating-seasonal-depression-in-the-elderly/

Accessed on January 10, 2018.

Reference: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Accessed at http://www.philipcaruso-story.com/seasonal-affective-disorder-sad/

Accessed on January 10, 2018.

Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of the Cardinal Institute for Health’s blog is for informational purposes only and are not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider.