Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a major depressive disorder that affects 10 million Americans each year, according to Psychology Today. That being said, there is a good chance that you or someone you know deals with this mental health condition on a yearly basis. In part one of this two-part series, we will provide you with a few tips on how you can cope with SAD and combat some of the symptoms.

At Long Island Counseling, we offer a variety of counseling services, including individual counseling for a number of mental health conditions. Whether you’re dealing with SAD, anxiety, addiction, or another disease, our team is here to provide you with the support and the tools you need to live a happier and healthier life. Learn more about the individual counseling services we provide, and give us a call to schedule an appointment today.

Recognizing the Symptoms

As the weather changes in preparation for the winter season, you may notice some changes in your mood or motivation. Those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder often experience a lack of interest in normal activities, increased amount of sleep, irritability, fatigue, and other symptoms that may seem unusual or slightly off from your normal behavior.

If you start to experience these symptoms at a certain time of year, try not to write them off as normal changes in mood, especially if you notice a pattern of feeling this way during certain times of the year.

Healthy Ways to Cope

More often than not, when an individual starts to feel depressed, they have a lack of motivation or energy to change their routine and try to find ways to deal with their emotions in a healthy manner. While laying in bed for hours at a time may seem like the easiest thing to do when you’re dealing with the effects of SAD, it isn’t the best way to cope.

Light Therapy and Dawn Simulators

Because SAD is most often associated with the lack of sunlight during the shorter days of the year, one way to cope is with light therapy or dawn simulators. Light therapy is when an individual uses a light box that emits UV rays to simulate the sun. Using this box for a short period of time each day can help provide the necessary vitamin D that your body may be lacking.

A dawn simulator, on the other hand, is a type of alarm clock, but instead of using a sound to wake you up in the morning, it uses a light that will gradually get brighter to help mimic the sun. In some cases, a dawn simulator can be just as effective as light therapy for those who suffer from SAD.

Schedule an Appointment

If Seasonal Affective Disorder is something that affects you or someone you know, then Long Island Counseling is here to help. In addition to light therapy and dawn simulators, individual counseling is a great way to find the support you need to feel happier about your life. Learn more about the individual counseling services we provide, and give us a call to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, keep an eye out for part two of this series!

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