Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD. It is a type of depression and if you have fibromyalgia you’ve got a 50/50 shot of developing this kind of disorder. If you are a woman, you have an 80% chance over your male counterparts. Lottery winner anyone?
- sleeping too much/not enough
- Craving carbs and/or sweets
- loss of libido
- gaining weight
Why do we develop this disorder? The lack of sunshine. Our circadian rhythm which is our internal clock goes haywire. That extra darkness messes with our ability to function and the hormone Melatonin which, when given in tablet form, is used for insomnia is overloading our brain with abundance! There is no way to decrease the build-up of Melatonin until spring and the sun shines for more hours.
Here is a fun fact for you, SAD can last the entire winter months until spring! I thought it was only experienced in the fall and the spring. I was wrong, all winter long!
What can we do to combat SAD? Lightbox therapy and an SSRI antidepressant. Prozac, Zoloft, and Paxil are a few that combat SAD. Lightboxes? Out of every 100 people who reported using a lightbox, 80 of them report a positive result. That is an 80% success rate! I honestly do not know if they were on an SSRI as well at the time or not. The report I read was only about the use of a lightbox.
So this winter, try to light up dark areas during the day, in your home. Get outside even on cold, cloudy days. Maybe even consider moving furniture around so you are sitting by a window for the majority of the daylight hours.
SAD is treatable with the proper medication and purposeful exposure to light during the winter. Check your symptoms, if you think you are experiencing SAD, talk to your doctor!
You got this!