Tips to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder

ORLANDO -- Up to 20 percent of Americans suffer from something that causes bouts of depression, fatigue, and mood changes that are worse in the gloomy winter weather. However, there are some effective ways to put aside your sadness.

It’s dark … gloomy … and cold outside. If the weather has you feeling down, you might have seasonal affective disorder, or what’s commonly known as “SAD.” But the good news is there are ways to help. The first, light therapy.

John Burns, PhD, Rush University says, “It’s a bright light that would be applied for one hour at normal waking time.”

Studies show it can benefit up to half of people with sad. The bright light mimics natural sunlight and increases serotonin levels in your body.

Burns continues, “Lightboxes are already commercially available because of the research in the seasonal affective disorder and they are cheap.”

You can find a lightbox online for less than 100 dollars. Also, a type of therapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy can help people with sad find relief. It helps patients identify and change their negative thoughts. Another remedy, exercise. A review in the American College of Sports Medicine Journal found that exercise might be comparable to therapy or anti-depressant medicines for depression. And lastly, try taking a vacation to a sunny climate during cold months to boost your mood.

Of course, another option for SAD is using antidepressant medicines. The FDA has approved the medicine, Wellbutrin, for treating people with SAD.

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