Are you SAD — You may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Depression
Some depression is common among caregivers. We already know care-giving is tough work, with many moments of sadness and fleeting feelings of depression. As caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s dementia, your sadness may be double because you already know what the outcome will be for the person you care so much about..
But there’s also a different kind of sadness, sometimes brought on by the time of year; such as dark days with cold temperatures from the Midwest to the East Coast. This sadness affects those who are house-bound whether by bad weather or choice. If you seldom go out alone because you’re caring for someone else, it can be depressing regardless of the weather. But if you’re feeling sad and depressed and struggling through dreary days beneath an overcast sky, you could also be suffering from SAD –
When sunshiny days change to gloom and doom, our disposition may follow. And if we’re constantly indoors, avoiding frigid weather and impending snow dunes, we may become depressed.
If your sad days don’t end when the sun returns, you may want to seek help from your family physician. You might have Seasonal Affect Depression. Do not try to decide this for yourself.
http://webmd.com states, “It is very important that you do not diagnose yourself with seasonal affective disorder. If you have symptoms of depression, see your doctor for a thorough assessment. Sometimes, physical problems can cause depression. But other times, symptoms of seasonal depression are part of a more complex psychiatric problem. A health professional should be the one to determine your level of depression and recommend the right form of treatment.”
A few of the symptoms can also be found at http://Webmd.com and include:
- Decreased levels of energy
- difficulty concentrating
- increased appetite
- increased desire to be alone
- increased need for sleep
- weight gain
If you are battling some extended hours indoors it’s best to stay as busy as you can. If you’re employment is generally outside, try to catch up on the “inside” work. A gardener may study workbooks and gardening while a house painter may clean and organize his tools. There’s always something we can do to stay busy indoors.
The mother with young children might make good use of this time doing arts and crafts while the children are indoors and underfoot. A baking session is always fun when Mom lets the kids do more than lick the spoon.
And there are lots children’s games for the Wii that require jumping around or dancing, even Sky Diving or Skiing.
Sometimes life is so busy and hectic that a day of quiet talk with family members can be a pleasure. Dark days provide a good excuse for cozy chats not only for children but husband and wife, mother daughter, and others.
If you’re feeling deeply depressed and have a few of the symptoms above, you should check with your local doctor. Only your doctor can determine your level of depression and suggest the treatment you may need.
If you’re only suffering from a little cabin fever with mild sadness from the bleak atmosphere and low light conditions during winter, try getting outside in the early morning. The sun is the brightest then and if it isn’t a frozen tundra, you might try a brisk walk.
There’s also something called “Light Therapy,” that is recommended for those who detest the darkness during winter months and feel sad when the sun darkens.
Wikipedia describes light therapy as: “Light therapy or phototherapy (classically referred to as heliotherapy) consists of exposure to daylight or to specific wavelengths of light using polychromatic polarised light, lasers, light-emitting diodes, fluorescent lamps, dichroic lamps or very bright, full-spectrum light, usually controlled with various devices. The light is administered for a prescribed amount of time and, in some cases, at a specific time of day.”
Below are a Few Powerful Therapy Lights