Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of disorder that occurs seasonally. People suffer particularly in the Autumn & Winter, when the days are shorter and there is less daylight.
Symptoms of this disorder can include;
- Low mood
- Lack of motivation
- Feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
- Loss of libido
- Tiredness or feeling lethargic (lacking in energy)
- Sleeping for longer periods and struggling to rise in the mornings
- Craving carbs and gaining weight
Most people are affected by the change in seasons and experience improved moods when the sun is shining and the daytime is longer. But, those with SAD (1 in 20!), experience far more severe symptoms.
One recommended way of treating Seasonal Affective Disorder is with light therapy. This has been medically proven to improve symptoms of SAD within a week of exposure. The Doctor may also recommend it to you.
Whilst I don’t struggle specifically with SAD, I do struggle with the ‘winter blues’. This time of year is always a lot tougher for me, as my anxiety and depression really peaks. So – this year whilst struggling with my mental health, I decided to try light therapy.
After searching the web for a suitable product I found the Beurer TL60 Bright Light from Stress No More. Which is a good size light, providing powerful simulation of sunlight (10,000 Lux).
Now, I will say this – I am a total sceptic. As I suffer with Generalised Anxiety Disorder my general attitude towards life falls naturally into the negative side of things. Subsequently, when I am recommended treatments for my mental health I tend to straight up think; ‘That is not going to work.’ However, with this I was pleasantly surprised.
I am not an early bird. I never have been and I probably never will be. So, getting up in the mornings at torturous hours (usually 8am) isn’t something I enjoy or like to make a habit of. And, when I begin my days with a negative outlook it tends to set the tone for the whole day.
After using this light for almost a month I have found my mornings to be far more manageable.
As part of my daily routine I now switch the light on when I wake up, which illuminates my whole bedroom. I usually sit in front of it for around 20-30 minutes (whilst doing my hair and make-up – very handy in itself!) It helps increase my mood which in turn changes the outlook of my whole day.
If you are affected (or think you are) by Seasonal Affective Disorder I’d definitely recommend researching and giving light therapy a go. It has improved my mornings, encouraged a much more positive mind set.