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Assisted Livingdementia care

Seasonal Affective Disorder “Winter Blues”

By August 19, 2019 No Comments

Do you often wait for Spring to come for you to be comfortably in a good mood?

If so, you might be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and more than just a post-holiday gloom. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, in order to be diagnosed with SAD, people must meet full criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons (appearing in the winter or summer months) for at least 2 years.

During this time proper senior care is very important. Caregivers for seniors often worry on hypothermia and vitamin D deficiency. These two are easily treatable. However, SAD that occurs during winter weather is also something that has to be treated.

Recognizing Signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

  • Change in sleep pattern—sleeping too much or too little
  • Agitation, irritability and anxiety
  • Excessive fatigue and loss of energy
  • Lack of interest in socializing with others
  • Unintended weight loss or weight gain
  • Change in appetite (mostly craving for carbohydrates)

Treatment:

Take a walk outside and increase physical activity.

One of the factors contributing to SAD is lack of exposure to sunlight. One can feel better when heading outdoors and doing activities like low-impact exercises.

Eat a healthy diet.

SAD may be caused by vitamin deficiency, so eating a healthy diet may improve symptoms.

Brightening rooms.

Ambience contribute in mood shifts. Try opening the blinds and curtains and turning on all the lights.

Light Therapy

This should be discussed and done with the supervision of a primary care physician. This therapy is used to emit non-damaging UV rays that mimic natural sunlight.