Dealing with S.A.D.? You're not alone

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014 --- 8:50pm

Many of us right now are probably dreaming of getting away to a warm, tropical place. Unfortunately, that dream won't become a reality for most of us, this winter.

Instead, we're faced with this snowy, windy, bitterly cold gift from Mother Nature; a gift that can not only hurt physically, but mentally too.

"This year has been particularly tough” says Dr. Philip Bain, an internal medicine doctor fro Dean Health.

Depression can happen at any time of the year, but there are certain times when it's more likely to happen.

"Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D. is really depression whose onset and remission occurs in a particularly season, generally fall and winter."

Bain says it could be the lack of light, lack of serotonin, or lack of exercise.

"When people are kind of cooped up, they don't get out and exercise, which is one way to counteract some of those symptoms associated with depression” says Bain.

No doubt, it can be hard to get out and go for a walk when its below zero outside. So, how do you deal with the depression? While medications can always help, there are other ways to boost your mood. One way is light therapy.

"It isn't just turning on the lights, but there's a specific amount of intensity of light. Generally you look for lights with 10,000 lux and it'll be printed on the packaging” Bain says.

Statistics show that light therapy works for around 53 percent of winter S.A.D. sufferers.

But, if the lights aren't an option, Dr. Bain says simple things, like socializing and forcing yourself to go to the gym, can have a bigger impact than you may think.

"If you can get over the hump and do that, it's often a good thing for people” he says.

Light therapy lamps and lights can be bought at places like Walgreens and Best Buy. You can also find them online. For more information on where to buy and how the therapy works, head to:

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