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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Lauren 18 hours, 25 minutes ago.

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  • #267585

    Lauren
    Participant

    I deal with the onset of SAG every autumn, but this year seems particular difficult.

    I try to use the light, exercise as much as I can, use essential oils … any other suggestions?

    #267595

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lauren:

    I live in an area that gets dark early on this season, very early. Some days it is grey most of the day and even all through the day. What many people do here  is… leave  to  Arizona during the winter. (I don’t, I stay…  I like grey and dark most of the time.

    But lots of people do leave during  the winter. Any such possibility for you… I wonder  if you did move altogether to a place without a dark winter, if you will not experience depression at all anytime during the year…?

    anita

    #267689

    Imomum
    Participant

    I ensure I take a high dose of Vitamin D through the Winter months, use an occasional sun bed and walk for at least 30 minutes outside, even if it raining or horrible!

    I adjust my routine too. In the Summer I would be out and about more, but in the Winter I accept it’s not always possible – so I plan an earlier bedtime because that’s what my body tells me to do. I still get up as early as I would in the Summer though.

    I focus on Art projects that keep me indoors, I read more, catch up on films & box sets I don’t tend to bother with in the Summer. I also experiment a lot more in the kitchen with new recipes, wholesome Winter soups & stews.

    I continue to plan meet ups with friends, go for warming hot chocolate in cafes, keep myself as busy as I would in the brighter months.

    Finally I ensure I’m as mindful as possible to maintain a healthy, positive state of mind through out. I focus on the beauty of the night skies, the “colours” of the Winter months. I search for holly, mistletoe – I love the beauty of red berries at this time. I observe nature, feed the birds.

    I’m not always as positive, I’m prone to depression too – but these simple things all really help. 🙂

    #267729

    Lauren
    Participant

    I love, Imomum, how you shift your life to meet the seasons. I’m going to give that some thought.

    I make comedy videos based on some characters that I’ve created over the years. This requires me to stay inside – a lot. I find a lot of computer time makes me more depressed, but my work requires it.

    Going to sleep early is a great idea! I love hot chocolate. I try not to eat sugar, but letting myself eat a sweet actually helps. No wonder holiday treats are so sugary … we need the extra boost!

    Thank you for all the suggestions. How I can help you in return?

    #267731

    Lauren
    Participant

    Anita, that is a good idea. I am required to stay up north a lot, but I hope to spend some time down in Florida. It gets dark early, too, but at least it’s warmer.

    Ideally, I’d be performing in Australia (I’m a standup) every January – February. That’s at least what I’m building towards :.)

    #267757

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lauren:

    I was wondering regarding SAD and I didn’t have the opportunity to ask a person suffering from SAD- is it that you experience depression only in autumn/ winter or does  it happen at times during spring/ summer?

    anita

    #267899

    Imomum
    Participant

    Aw thank you Lauren – That’s really thoughtful and kind. For once, – I’m doing OK right now but I love that you offered.

    I’d love to hear about your stand-up stuff in Australia though! Sounds amazing….

    I just feel that in the Winter, we see the birds migrate, a lot of animals go into hibernation and I believe we are not all that different. There’s a natural feeling to want to retreat inside, to be in the warm and to sleep more and I feel it’s natural to allow ourselves to move along in the best way we can with that shift of season.

    I’m also a big believer of eliminating sugar and I largely avoid it too – Only I also believe that a comforting mug of hot chocolate or mulled wine are a great way to go in the colder months and over the Festive season. I’d never deprive myself of chocolate (ha ha!) but all in moderation.

    One thing I meant to ask you – was do you have a SAD lamp/ light box?

    @ Hi Anita – from my perspective, I’m prone to depression unfortunately and tend to be really affected by life style changes. I used to see an increase in that over the Winter months but less so through out the year unless specifically triggered by a stressful event. I’m more aware now of the potential triggers (SAD being one of them) and I’m prepared now with a lot of tools in place to deal with it if the ghastly symptoms start to creep back in! 🙂

    #267907

    anita
    Participant

    * Dear Imomum: thank you for your answer. I enjoyed reading your replies in other threads, by the way. So the depression for you existed at different times  of the year, triggered by stressful events, lifestyle changes and winter months. (I suppose if  the only trigger was winter, it would  be so very  worth it to  move!)

    #268069

    Lou
    Participant

    Hey Lauren,

    I’ve got the same question as Imomum – Do you mean a light therapy lamp/box by ‘the light’ in your first comment?

    Because I tried everything you mentioned last winter, exercise, essential oils, meditation or yoga, for months and they were doing nothing for me, so I ended up trying an antidepressant but then soon the winter was over so I stopped. Which worked by the way even if it was a short period of time.

    But this autumn/winter, I started light therapy and it’s seriously life-changing, I wish I’d had this last winter and the winters before. If you did mean light therapy and you’re already doing it but it’s not really helping, try increasing the dose, I do it during all morning, sometimes even in the afternoon, instead of the recommended time which is 30 minutes in the morning per day. Because I was doing it for 30 min as recommended since September (because you’re supposed to start it before it actually gets gloomy) and I had that drop-down feeling early October as soon as it got grey, and I googled and read that if it’s not being efficient, you can try longer duration. And I’m all good now, I’d even say I’m no longer used to ‘feeling well’ this time of the year with this kind of weather so it’s even quite weird to feel well! Haha.

    Also, as Imomum does, I take a high dose of vitamin D (10000 IU every other day) too. I don’t know if it helps mood-wise but it definitely helps physiologically and keeps my energy level right.

    Being and touring in Australia should absolutely help though! Only some weeks to go for you then 🙂

    I joined the site to be able to leave you a reply, so please try the light therapy (higher dose)! I feel like I could even go live in Sweden or Finland if I have this haha.

    But yeah as Anita suggests, I’ll be moving down south as soon as I can, well, if I can, job etc. etc. Life isn’t that simple sometimes eh.

    Hope it’s of some use for you.

    #269325

    Lauren
    Participant

    These responses are so helpful. Thank you! For some reason I didn’t get the notifications!

    Lou! — That’s such a great idea. I left the light on the other day by accicdent for longer than the recommended time … and I felt better. It’s good to know that others feel the same. I just snapped it on right now. It’s night but at least it’s something. I’ll try it for the morning. I have to use my computer a lot for work (besides from doing standup comedy I also create comedy videos — on Instagram @laurenlogi) … so do you know if it’s okay to use the light while you’re on the computer?

    And thanks for joining this site just to reply. I really appreciate that kindness. Unfortunately I’m not in AU this winter … I was last winter and I hope to be next and then to go every year.

    Anita! — it only happens during the winter. It’s like clockwork as soon as it starts to get grey outside.

    Imomum! – I like how you frame the winter as simply a time to hibernate a bit more, as do birds. There is this part of me that likes the darkness somehow. It slowly comes on, almost lulling us to sleep and to make a deeper reflection into our lives. It’s helpful until it veers into depression which starts to make me feel really shitty, which is my profession makes it hard to function (it’s the kind of job where you’re rejected on a daily basis … )

    Thanks for your interest in my standup — the best way to find out more is on my Instagram + website … feel free to reach out to my directly through those channels :.)

    #269361

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Lauren:

    You are welcome. I hope your light therapy as you experiment with it, works well for you.

    Because you get depressed because  of the changing weather, it will be wonderful when you move to a different climate, maybe Australia, as you mentioned.

    But the rejections, part  of your business, that will probably be a problem, affecting you negatively somehow, sometimes, in any climate, I imagine.

    anita

    #269373

    Lou
    Participant

    Hey Lauren,

    Just checked out your Instagram and I loooove Mary Poppins. I’ve been waiting for the new one to come out since like pre-production and so excited it’s coming out next week! I like your work and will check out more stuff after this reply 🙂 (I’m not on Instagram so I’m sorry about not adding you another follower ;))

    Well so coming back to the topic, I even found a weird study, when googling back then, on using brighter lightbulbs and equipping the whole flat with them (found back the link! https://arbital.com/p/lumenators/), but I just couldn’t be bothered to do all that fuss hah. But anyway my light therapy lamp with extended duration works fine for me so no need for that either anyway. And yes of course you can be on your computer and keep the lamp on aside your monitor, that’s the only way I do it! My psychiatrist told me that it’s even a better idea to work on the laptop or read something whilst the light therapy because that means you’re looking down (unless your monitor is huge of course), which means the light comes from above and hits the part in your eyes where the sunlight hits (I’m no doctor and can’t remember all the body part names!). That’s why the height of the lamp is also important: higher or at least the eye height. And also you should keep it in a quite close distance.

    Maybe avoid using it late afternoon or night because it’s supposed to disturb your sleep? But I’ve never tried it myself so I don’t know! That’s just what they say. Did you sleep alright after using it at night time?

    Yeah I’ve noticed Australia has quite a lot of standup comedy festivals (like the one in Melbourne?). I watch loads on YouTube! :p Hope you’ll go there next year then! 🙂

    #269501

    Lauren
    Participant

    Hi there Lou,

    I have slept alright using it at nighttime.

    The Luminater article is helpful because some people ask me about it and can’t afford to buy one.

    Thanks your the tip about keeping it at eye level. I don’t always do that.

    And THANK YOU for checking out Mary Poppins. It seems like you’re on Youtube — I’m on there as well: youtube.com/laurenlogi. I’ll be posting on there because I know that some people just aren’t on Instagram.

    My goal is to ultimately do some of the festivals in AU and eventually tour my standup. Lots to do in the meantime so getting over this SAD stuff is super important! Spit spot!!

     

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