Think I May Have SAD

Discussion in 'Mental Health' started by Wiseman, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Yeah. I've been feeling really down lately.

    But the weather has been like really cold and windy and gloomy/depressing which I despise. But then, like 3 days ago, it was really warm, and sunny, and I was suddenly "Oooo. I'm so happy. Life is great and beautiful", but then the next day, it was back to it's normal state and I was just kinda "Meh. This sucks. I think I'll go be depressed".

    So I was talking to my friend yesterday who said that I might have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I've never heard of it before, but I've been looking at it a little more online, and am convinced that I may just have a case of it.

    So what do you all think? Any way I can tell for sure if I have it, like indicators and stuff? And how exactly would I go about getting treated? Just wait it out?
  2. MaryJBlaze

    MaryJBlaze eleven

    keep reading about it, you'll figure it out.....or talk to your dr.
  3. *°GhOsT°LyRiC°*

    *°GhOsT°LyRiC°* Supporters HipForums Supporter

    alot of ppl have been dealing with SAD this winter. the weather has been rapidly changing, so i can see why. but i wouldnt get medication if you think its SAD. the side effects and being all zombied out isnt worth it in my opinion. but i would go see a doctor if you get very depressed. i had a bit of SAD myself, and it passed quickly. and so did alot of ppl i know who had it.
  4. SunshineChild

    SunshineChild Mad Scientist

    Honestly I think it's one of those things so common that it's usually not worth labeling or treating. Some SAD though is actually bipolar disorder, I have read, where people experience the depressive symptoms of bipolar in colder climate and hypomanic symptoms in warmer climate.
  5. hippiehillbilly

    hippiehillbilly the old asshole

    SAD can be easily treated with a bank of florescent lights over the area in the house you spend the most time in..

    its what they do in alaska.

    its actually pretty common but it in no way needs medical attention.
  6. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Yeah, I didn't plan on trying to get a prescription or anything for it. I don't do the drugs thing. I'm zombied-out enough already, I don't need any of that crap.

    So what did you guys do to get it away? Just kinda chill until it started fading?
  7. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Yeah. I saw a little bit about the stuff in Alaska. Wikipedia has a little thing devoted to the stuff there. And like how they treat everything. I'm not really sure how fluorescent lighting would make a difference (I'm sure they told in the article. I'm just too lazy to reread.

    I've decided that there's no way I could live there. Ever.
  8. SunshineChild

    SunshineChild Mad Scientist

    Get a fat sack of herb and listen to some psychedelic sounds is what I did.
  9. Therese Aline

    Therese Aline Slave to the man

    I honestly think they put too many labels on things. The outside world looks dreary in winter. Gray skies, cold air, dead trees and grass. It can be depressing in and of itself. Sunshine makes everything glow and look healthy. I think we're just influenced by the state of nature. I don't really know you either, but from your posts you seem happy go lucky to me, someone that looks on the bright side. I wouldn't think you have SAD, happy people get down sometimes.
  10. *°GhOsT°LyRiC°*

    *°GhOsT°LyRiC°* Supporters HipForums Supporter

    you'll probably just get out of it in a few days. just try to do things that make you happy and relaxed.
  11. hippiehillbilly

    hippiehillbilly the old asshole

    Home Remedy Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder

    Stave off the sadness that can become overwhelming if you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder by taking note of the following home remedies.

    Soak up the morning light. Get as much natural light as possible between 6:00 A.M. and 8:00 A.M. Get outside and go for a walk, or at least sit by a window.

    Eat foods containing the amino acid tryptophan. The carbohydrate craving common in people with this disorder is thought to be caused by decreased levels of the brain neurotransmitter serotonin. Since tryptophan is a precursor of serotonin, taking in more of this amino acid may increase the body's production of serotonin and help you feel better. Although there is no solid research that supports the benefits of eating tryptophan-rich foods, you might want to try eating more of these foods to see if your symptoms improve. Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, milk, and egg whites.

    Avoid self-medication with alcohol or caffeine. Caffeine may give you a brief lift, but it can also cause anxiety, muscle tension, and gastrointestinal problems. Alcohol, on the other hand, is a depressant, which can further exacerbate your low mood.

    Engage in regular aerobic exercise. Again, we don't know for sure if exercise helps people with SAD, but some evidence suggests that it does. Aim to exercise outdoors in the early morning hours.

    Eat lunch outside. If you can't get out in the morning light, at least get out on your lunch break. Even if it's cloudy, the natural light will do you good.

    Maintain a regular schedule. Keep your body's clock in sync by rising and retiring at the same time each day, even on weekends or days off from work.

    Let the sun shine in. Open the curtains, pull up the shades, and spend time in the sunniest room in the house.

    Get yourself a box of light. One of the most effective treatments for SAD is regular (usually daily) exposure to a specially designed light box, one that provides enough intensity of light to positively affect SAD symptoms (the light needs to be at least 10 times the intensity of regular household or office lighting). Two variations on the basic light box are also available: a special light visor (you want the particles of light from a light device to actually enter your eyes) and a "dawn simulator," which is a light box that simulates sunrise by switching on when you awaken and growing brighter and brighter as the morning wears on. The amount of exposure time required each day can be as little as a half hour to as much as several hours, although you are encouraged to go about normal activities such as eating or reading during exposure time. Talk with your doctor about whether you should try one of these devices.

    If possible, move to a sunnier climate. Most people can't just get up and relocate. But for those who can, moving to a sunnier area helps SAD symptoms disappear. Indeed, SAD rarely affects people living within about 30 degrees of the Equator.
    Whether it's cutting back on caffeine and alcohol or moving to a sunnier place, there are several ways to decrease the effects of SAD. Whatever you do, be sure to seek guidance from a professional if the feelings of depression become overwhelming. If they are not severe, and instead just somewhat of an inconvenience, some of the natural home remedies listed in the next section may provide relief.

    Home Remedies from the Cupboard

    Basmati rice. The sugar in this rice is slow to release into the bloodstream, which helps blood sugar levels stay constant instead of going through highs and lows. Drastic changes in blood sugar can lead to weight gain, which is a side effect of SAD. Other foods with a similar effect on blood sugar are rye bread and pasta.

    Bouillon. When the carbohydrate craving is just about to defeat you, drink some hot bouillon or broth. Hot liquids in the belly are filling, and consuming them before a meal is an old diet trick that reduces food consumption. Better the bouillon than the banana cream pie.

    Cereals. Cooked cereal, unsweetened muesli, and bran flakes are slow to release sugar into the bloodstream, which helps raise serotonin levels.

    Herbal teas. Any herbal tea is a better choice than teas with caffeine. Your reduced energy level may cause you to turn to caffeine for a boost, but it can also cause anxiety, muscle tension, and stomach problems, so opt for herbal. Chamomile, peppermint, and cinnamon are pleasant-tasting choices. Drink a cup instead of giving in to your carbohydrate cravings.

    Home Remedies from the Freezer

    Ice. When you can't get going no matter what you do, try sucking on some ice. Its chill can give you a wake-up call. Or, splash your face and wrists with ice water.

    Home Remedies from the Refrigerator

    This fruit gradually raises serotonin levels and helps keep them there, as do apples, pears, grapes, plums, grapefruits, and oranges.

    Avocados. They are high in natural serotonin, which seems to suppress appetite. Also high in natural serotonin are dates, bananas, plums, eggplant, papayas, passion fruit, plantains, pineapples, and tomatoes.

    Cottage cheese. It's high in tryptophan, which is lacking in people with SAD. Other foods just as high in tryptophan are turkey, fish, and eggs.

    Legumes. These help maintain an even serotonin level throughout the day and night. Eat some beans, peas, lentils, or peanuts.

    Shellfish. These are high in tyrosine, which forms chemicals that act on the brain cells to improve concentration and alertness, both of which become sluggish with SAD. Other foods high in tyrosine are fish, chicken, skinless turkey, cottage cheese, plain yogurt, skim milk, eggs, tofu, and very lean ham, pork, and lamb.

    Turkey. Protein foods such as turkey, low-fat cottage cheese, chicken, and low fat dairy products can reduce the carbohydrate cravings of SAD as well as control the weight gain that occurs during SAD months.

    Home Remedies from the Spice Rack

    Peppermint oil. Or lemon oil. Steep in water and inhale. These are stimulating and may give you a little extra zip.

    Home Remedies from the Window

    Curtains. Open them, or remove them, especially if your kitchen window has a southern exposure.

    Dirty dishes. If your sink is near or under the window, save all your dishes from the night before and wash them the next day, during the brightest sunlight.

    Preparations. Make your meal preparations in the brightest light of the day, in front of the kitchen window.

    Whatever method you choose to help deal with SAD, if the situation worsens, make sure to seek out the advice of a health professional. However, for a somewhat mild case of the winter blues, simple home remedies like increased sunlight, certain foods and a good old-fashioned vacation can do wonders.

    [SIZE=+1]Everyday Solutions[/SIZE]
    • [SIZE=-1]Take a walk in the sun. Morning or early afternoon sun is the best.[/SIZE]
    • Cut trees and bushes away from your windows. Remove heavy drapes that block the light.
    • Lighten your home. Use light-colored fabrics, walls, and rugs.
    • Add more light to your home or office. Try natural full-spectrum lighting.
    • Exercise. Aerobic exercise has a positive effect on moods. Try walking, jogging, biking, swimming. Even better, exercise in the sun or near a sunny window.
    • Vacation in a warm, sunny climate. Take a trip during the winter months, whenever possible.
  12. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    That's pretty cool HHB. Where'd you find that? I'll have to try a couple things off the list. Thanks for digging it up :)
  13. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Yeah. For the most part, I'm really optimistic.

    But you're right about us being in touch with nature. It makes a big difference especially with me. Like, if it's really nice out, I often don't care how crappy things are at all. I'm still happy. But now, even when things are going great, I'm still kinda crappy.

    I thought it would go away after a few days, but this has been plauging me for like 3-4 months now. Kinda bothersome.
  14. Therese Aline

    Therese Aline Slave to the man

    Could it be because of your family situation?
  15. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot truth

    You pharma-heretic you!!! I'm currently in the throes of acute nothingitis--- that's the terminal absence of any specific condition. Fortunately Bristol Meyers Squibb Pfizer Yomama-Johnson and Johnson are diligently formulating an experimental decapitalizing treatment intent on curing me of my savings. Its side effects will furnish the basis for future litigation to be handled by the law orifices of Dewey, Screwum and Howe if I am ready, willing, and able to pay them their regular fee (They'll drop all the rest of their pressing affairs and devote their attention to me!)

  16. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Maybe I've considered that, and also because my girlfriend broke up with me two or three months ago. That really sucked, but I don't know. I don't think that's what's still bugging me.

    I actually think that maybe that stuff brought on the sadness, and the weather just kinda kept it there.
  17. Therese Aline

    Therese Aline Slave to the man

    Well, you do have alot of shit on your plate at the moment. Maybe you're just processing it all at the same time, not sad about one particular thing but a lot of things and because you're not focusing on them individually it feels like a general sadness.
  18. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Yeah. I guess so. I kinda thought it'd all blow over, but right now, I've been trying to maintain decent-enough grades. Math class makes me mad.

    Like I said, I thought most of that stuff would just kinda fade away. I'm a pretty firm believer in the "Don't worry about a thing, cause every little thing, is gonna be alright" philosophy, but all that crap has been haunting me for much longer than expected.

    But what kinda made me think this is because of that one day when it was nice, and then I was happy, but sad the next day. I don't know. You're probably right about just the stuff going on in my life right now being a burden on me emotional.
  19. Therese Aline

    Therese Aline Slave to the man

    Well, chin up. Remind yourself that it will get better, it just might be awhile. The light at the end of the tunnel is always there, even if it's miles away.
  20. Wiseman

    Wiseman Senior Member

    Yeah. Sometimes I wonder though, if the light at the end of a tunnel is really just the front light of a train.

    But I know it'll get better. Hopefully when I get out of school, I'm going to find some people that want to go on a road-trip or something along those lines. I think that'll be a life-changing experience. And I'm in dire need of one of those.

    Thanks for the advice on everything :)

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