Project Alicia : S.A.D.

Friday, September 25, 2009


The other day I mentioned that I thought I might be suffering from this condition and asked if there was anyone else out there. I had one person respond. Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone. I'm wondering if there are more of you and why it seems to only affect some people.

I love every single thing about fall... the changing colors, the pumpkin patches, the soups and ciders, costumes, the cooler weather, etc. And yet when the crisp September days come (without any warning) I just feel different. I want to be able to enjoy this beautiful season and not feel like I'm in mourning.

I've been doing some research to better understand this condition. That's what I do. It seems to make me feel like I'm not so helpless or that I have some control over my life. The mayo clinic says that although they don't know the actual cause of S.A.D.... that there are some factors that contribute. Your biological clock and melatonin/seratonin levels all may play a part. It sounds like all three affect your sleep patterns and can lead to depression.

This is what they say:
1.The reduced level of sunlight in fall and winter may disrupt your body's internal clock, which lets you know when you should sleep or be awake. This disruption of your circadian rhythm may lead to feelings of depression.

2.The change in season can disrupt the balance of the natural hormone melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

3.Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin, perhaps leading to depression.

It is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start in the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Treatment for seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications. Addressing the problem can help you keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

I want to understand the led light therapy better. A couple years ago we changed all of the light bulbs in our house to full spectrum bulbs in an attempt to help me get through the winter months, but it was costly and didn't seem to help. Now I've been reading about these led lights that do everything from reduce wrinkles to prevent depression. They are several hundred dollars and there seems to be a plethora of them available. But which ones work or are they all a hoax? I will continue to research this, but would love any comments or feedback.

1 comment:

  1. okay so I can't remember if I commented last time or not...but I know what you mean, I had something "hit" me a few weeks back and it's taking me a while to get back on my feet, per se. But I do have a hard time during the winter months. I dont really remember having it when I was a kid, but then again I lived in Texas...and well let's face it, their winters are much different than Utah, Idaho and Iowa. So I can relate a bit with what you're goin through. It is the worst when you feel like you're goin through it alone! Get Amanda on you...she actually helped me through it last winter (whether she knows it or not)...she'd drag me out of the house or call or whatever. :)