Unfortunately it’s that time of year again in the UK- dull skies and fewer daylight hours- so I’ve dusted down my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Lamp and am gratefully soaking up it’s rays. I’ve also added some Bach Flower Remedies to my daily drinks: Mustard and Gorse.
My mood has dipped in the last couple of days- it is so in sync with a change in weather from beautiful sunny skies to dull & cloudy, there really is no doubt in the cause of this new low.
When the weather is like this I immediately start fantasising about living in a sunnier climate! Maybe Spain or one of the sunnier states in the USA.
I’ve never really considered myself as having Seasonal Affective Disorder, it’s always seemed like part of my Bipolar symptoms. The more I experience my changing mood states the less I believe in making specific diagnoses. A diagnosis of Mood Disorder would sum it all up for me!!!
Anyway Light Therapy begins today and generally I find 60-90 minutes daily sufficient. Those with Bipolar are usually cautioned to watch out that the depression doesn’t tip into hypomania having used the lamp a few days/weeks straight. Obviously alter accordingly.
According to Wikipedia, Light Therapy may not work for all SAD sufferers: 20-50% do not gain adequate relief. However it is not stated whether the treatment was carried out with anti-depressant medication too- I imagine not. I use my Lumie Lamp in addition to my current medication of anti-depressant and mood stabiliser, which proves very effective.
Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms (via NHS Choices website)
– feeling irritable
– feelings of despair
– feelings of guilt and worthlessness
– low self-esteem
– feeling stressed or anxious
– reduced sex drive
– being less active than normal
– feeling tired and sleeping more than usual (hypersomnia)
– feeling lethargic (lacking energy)
– find it difficult to concentrate
– increased appetite and eating more than usual (hyperphagia)
Very similar to regular depression then!! Apparently hyperphagia and hypersomnia are particularly indicative of SAD, but I find them present in all my depressive episodes anyway.
Be Gentle With Yourself
As always, an onset of depressive symptoms reminds us to be extra kind and gentle with ourselves and really indulge in some TLC. No beating ourselves up for being depressed!! Take the day more slowly, reduce the workload and ask others to take over the essential jobs if necessary. I’m going to stick on some relaxing music, dream about sunny beaches, and hide under the duvet for an hour or two!
Photo Credit: Victor Habbick via freedigitalphotos.net.