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Old 02-17-2011, 09:54 AM
 
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That about says it. I have suffered from SAD since my late teens. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and this is the worst time of the year for me.

I have a light but nothing seems to work like the sun.
Any ideas?
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Old 02-17-2011, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
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This time of year is almost over. You've gotten through the worst of it. Light therapy and physical exercise tend to be the most effective tools for the Northeast, combined with the odd, rare, occasional Xanax or similar if you're also experiencing anxiety as well as depression. I wouldn't recommend the Xanax for the whole duration of the season though.

The only other helpful non-pharmaceutical recommendation I can think of is citrus oils. I put this suggestion in a post somewhere previously but here it is again:

Peel a grapefruit, tangerine, orange, tangelo, mineola - any or all, any combination - whatever you enjoy, really. Eat the fruit. Put water in a shallow pan, and put the pan either on top of a gas stove over the area where the pilot light burns, or on top of a wood-burning stove, or on the absolute lowest heat possible if all you have is electric. Put the fresh fruit peels in the simmering water. As the water heats up, it will release the oils in the peels into the air. This will not only provide a citrus scent which is psychologically energizing, it also provides a small measure of air-cleansing. You can repeat this as often as you enjoy it, and even toss a couple eucalyptus leaves in with it to add a mild sinus-clearing vapor to the air.

If your local grocery store sells Citrus Magic, you could get that instead (or in addition) and give each room a quick spritz every few hours. Don't let it spray directly on yourself or your pillow. It's citrus oil, and it's GOOD for you and GOOD for the air, but it can irritate the skin.
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:12 PM
 
Location: On the sunny side of a mountain
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Have you tried taking vitamin D? Up here in the Colorado Mountains we generally get lots of sun, but if there's a stretch of 3 cloudy days the stores sell out of Vitamin D, the "sunshine vitamin".
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
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Vitamin D doesn't affect brain function, it works with the musculo-skeletal system. It's still a good idea to take small doses daily during the season when you're less likely to be walking around in sunlight. 100-200 micrograms per day, combined with calcium. You can get both with a single Tums + D per day. Again though, it wouldn't help your moods/depression/winter doldrums. But it is important to support your bones. Don't take mega doses though - vitamin D toxicity can cause vomiting and renal failure (among other things).
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Old 02-17-2011, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
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I had this problem when I lived outside of Boston. Many will not like this suggestion but I used to go to a tanning salon, it helped me a lot. There was something about being under the lights and feeling the heat on my skin, it really improved my mood.
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Old 02-18-2011, 12:23 PM
 
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I did that too Lindsey, and it seemed to help, but now I am deathly afraid of tanning salons.
Is there any way to safely tan? The lights and lying under the light seemed to both lift me mood and alleviate my anxiety.
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Old 02-18-2011, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
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There is no way to safely tan. Tanning, by definition, is intentionally causing damage to your skin. That is the reason it is turning color. It is -literally- baking in the sun.
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Old 02-18-2011, 02:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheena12 View Post
That about says it. I have suffered from SAD since my late teens. (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and this is the worst time of the year for me.

I have a light but nothing seems to work like the sun.
Any ideas?
sheena, have you ever thought of purchasing light-therapy light bulbs? I saw them in Costco a while back...they are horrendously expensive, but anything's worth a try. Having that type of light spectrum all over your house may help.

When I lived in Portland and started to feel this SAD thing for the first time ever, I kept myself on a very strict schedule:
taking a walk every day or going to the gym no matter what the weather
up at the same time every day
going to bed at the same time whether I was tired or not
no tv in the bedroom
taking a walk every day or going to the gym no matter what the weather listening to tapes of ocean sounds music or dolphins talking (this seemed to help a lot)
non-caffeinated tea in the evening
I also ate very healthy foods and never a large meal.

Therapy is so individual, that this worked for me but may not for you. SAD is a very bad feeling, I know...

But I must chuckle at the poster who said that in Colo. 3 days of no sunshine would have people buying out Vitamin D supplies. (Oregon's not exactly known for its sunshine! )

PS: I'd heard of a company that sold and blended non-toxic indoor house paint specifically meant for the Northwest. The colors were supposed to've lifted people's mood in an attempt to combat SAD...have you ever heard of this type of color therapy?
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Old 02-18-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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No never heard of the paint thing. What happens with me is I tend to be OK through the holidays. Since I am one of those people who actually enjoys shopping, cooking, decorating, wrapping gifts and entertaining, the "darkest part of the year" does not feel so dark - at least for me.
After the Holidays are over I tend to crash in terms of mood. January February and most of March are the worst time of the year for me.

The schedule thing sounds like a good idea - and one that would be difficult for me. I also sleep a lot in the winter, which I find depressing.

I am going to start walking again. Tomorrow. And without my dogs because when I take them the walk becomes about them and I have to scoop their poop etc.
I become so tired in the winter. I am a different person in the summer and spring.

I have a full spectrum light but since it was not wildly expensive, I wonder if it's the right type of full spectrum light?
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:12 AM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnonChick View Post
This time of year is almost over. You've gotten through the worst of it.

Yeah, I agree... this is when I start to perk up. The days are getting longer, warmer and we already have flowers coming up and trees budding here in Tennessee.
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