Oct
04

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Tag: Pledger Orthopedic Spine Center, Chiropractic

It’s winter in Ohio, and we’ve been experiencing some dreary winter days. Every year about this time, many people experience mild to extreme depression. There is a name for this condition—Seasonal Affective Disorder or “winter blues”—and the lack of sunlight that we experience during our winter months is the culprit. It is a recurring depression that recurs year after year; it develops in the fall or winter and disappears during spring or summer.

In every case, it brings about a change or imbalance in the body’s normal way of functioning. This phenomenon has been recorded throughout medical history, but it has only been in the last 15 years that modern medicine has given this condition a name and drawn up a specific list of symptoms.

The use of bright light therapy in treating SAD was first described in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1984. “Dawn simulation” is a more recent light therapy approach that attempts to put SAD symptoms into remission by simulating an earlier dawn with the use of artificial lighting. There is some disagreement concerning the exact percentage of persons who experience this condition; but there is a general consensus that it is a worldwide condition that affects millions of people each year.

The 4 classic symptoms of SAD are: increased desire to sleep, extreme lethargy, depression and increased appetite, which leads to weight gain. Winter depressions can be very severe in some patients, affecting the way people function and can interfere with personal relationships. Some common sense care options would be to: take a walk in midday sunlight; stay active; sit near windows whenever possible; let as much sunlight into your house as possible; buy an ionizer for your home; get as much laughter as possible; spend as much time as possible with friends and loved ones; get your exercise; eliminate refined sugar and flour from your diet; yoga and meditation are always beneficial; take a good daily vitamin with magnesium, B complex, and minerals; cut back on caffeine; try a support group; purchase a dawn simulator; bright colors on walls and upholstery will make your home cheerier; take a winter vacation to someplace warm and sunny.

With a little imagination, you can make it through these dreary winter months. If you have more information regarding this article, please contact Dr. Noble Allman, Chiropractic Physician at (513) 727-2540. You can also reach us at www.allmanchiropractic.com and drallman@allmanchiropractic.com.

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