By Julia Jenkins, Nov 13 2018 05:59PM
I was speaking with a friend earlier and he shared how he was having a struggle with the recent change of the clocks, travelling back and forward to work in the dark barely seeing daylight and how much he feels this is affecting him. It’s true we are some way from the 21st December, the Winter Solstice, but it seems many people are already longing for a break from the greyness.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD is a type of depression which results from changing brain chemicals. The change in light throws our internal clock out of sequence and the levels of Serotonin and Melatonin (brain chemicals) drop and leave is feeling tired, lethargic, find it difficult to concentrate and irritable. Surprisingly, people affected by SAD may have problems in the Summer too.
It is important to find what works best for you, and this might take a couple of attempts, which is frustrating when you are feeling so flat and tired.
The main ways of helping with SAD are: -
Get as much natural sunlight as possible, if this is difficult get hold of a special lamp for some bright light therapy which stimulates sunlight.
Make exercise part of your daily routine.
Measure your stress levels, perhaps try some mindfulness.
Book a few sessions with a Counsellor for some talking therapy or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
Visit your GP, who may prescribe medication and help you draw up a treatment plan. St Johns Wort has show to be helpful, but you must check with your GP or pharmacist that it will be suitable for you, particularly if you are taking any other medications.