Don't be SAD!

Women are more troubled by Seasonal Affective Disorder

For Your Health

Don’t Be SAD!

How to cope with the wintertime blues

-Brittany Fenning

winter sportsWith the holidays upon us, it may be the season for cheer. But many women will find themselves short on merriment in the upcoming months. That’s because they are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder and become depressed in the autumn and winter season because of lack of sunlight. Four to six percent of Americans are SAD-sufferers who become deeply depressed while ten to twenty percent of the public have some symptoms of SAD. The prime victims of this winter wallow-fest are women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s.

How to cope with this seasonal dose of gloom? “Change your thinking, change your life. Mind over mood. These are the mantras that keep me in control of my depression and will help me overcome, or at least manage SAD,” one sufferer explained to CNN. Severe cases of the disorder may even require anti-depressants or other medications.

But there are non-pharmaceutical mood-lifters as well. One approach is to just turn on the lights. With light therapy, sufferers of SAD sit in front of a light box for about a half an hour to an hour per day. The light illuminating from the box is designed to imitate the sun, and, yes, it makes one feel considerably sunnier.

Another common standby to beat the blues during the cold weather is exercise. Exercising on a regular basis is not only good for the body it releases endorphins which lighten moods.

Should all else fail there is one guaranteed prescription. A warm, sunny, winter vacation can be just what the doctor ordered.

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