Whether you seek ongoing care from the physician who diagnosed your seasonal affective disorder or another medical professional, is up to you. That said, a physician who is familiar with your medical profile, as well as whether or not you can handle light therapy, or light box therapy, is vital for the proper care and treatment of S.A.D. Light therapy has proven helpful in the treatment of this condition, because it mimics the sun’s rays through the use of ultraviolet lights. With proper use, light boxes are able to increase the production of serotonin, which in turn helps to address or alleviate feelings of depression and sadness.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Meeting with a clinician who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy is an excellent way to process your feelings. By examining your cognitions and developing behavioral strategies that ameliorate the sadness and helplessness the darkness sometimes brings, you can develop coping mechanisms that will pull you through the rest of the winter.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) are just one type of antidepressant medication that is sometimes prescribed for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder. It is important to understand that if you and your doctor feel medication would be beneficial, you can start it and then stop it when your days are brighter. You do not have to take medication indefinitely but should always discuss dosing and treatment plans with your physician before stopping any medications.
Exercise and Diet
As with nearly all mood conditions and disorders, eating a balanced diet low in sugars, fats, and alcohol is critical. Exercise is also a wonderful way to boost your serotonin levels, decrease feelings of sadness, and push through the season’s doldrums.
How to Get Help for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a condition that affects six to 14 percent of the population, in one capacity or another. With so many in the public dealing with this diagnosis year after year, it is important for practitioners and lay people alike to conduct themselves in ways that respect the severity and potential dangers of leaving S. A. D. untreated.
Dr. Shahen Kurestian, DC of Body Systems Wellness in Glendale California possesses a conviction to his patients’ mental, physical and spiritual health and welfare. With your safety and wellbeing in mind, we urge you to take care of yourself and whatever ails your heart and soul, no matter the season.