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Does anyone suffer from SAD?

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Maisie

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I am really struggling this year. I get SAD (seasonal affective disorder) every winter but for some reason this year its crippling me. I use light box therapy but I think I started using it too late and the depression had already set in.

I do a great job of hiding how I feel but its getting hard to even leave the house to take the kids to school. I can''t wait for the spring. My symptoms always ease after March/April.

Maisie
 

Ellen

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My brother has it, but I don''t recall him ever saying what he does to combat it. I''ll ask him.

Wish I could be more help.
 

Finding_Neverland

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I have a very close GF who suffers from SAD. She started out using light box therapy but found it wasn''t quite enough.

She''s changed all the light bulbs in her whole house to the type that simulate sunlight wavelengths. She''s got a timer set on her kitchen and the light at the bottom of the steps. The lights come on at something like 4:30 in the morning. That way, when she comes down for her morning coffee at 5:00 am, she''s immediately basking in the light she needs. I believe she gets a couple hours in before she leaves for work around 7:00 am.

Her normal routine, she gets home around 6:00 pm in the evening. With all the lights in the house being the sunlight wavelength, she''s able to get a good 5-6 hours of the right kind of light every day thru the week.

She swears by the light therapy. It''s made an immense difference in her life coping with short daylight hours in the winter.
 

Maisie

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Ellen its ok that you can''t be more help - anyway you do help.......you are my diamond guru!!


FN I never thought about changing the light bulbs in the house. I thought sitting in front of the lightbox would be enough but I can see how that would help so I will be looking for new bulbs. I really should get outside more but its just so cold it makes me miserable. I hibernate for the winter and I gain so much weight - its really horrible.

Maisie
 

firebirdgold

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Is there any way you can get away for a long weekend to someplace sunny? Depending on where you are you should be able to find a deal for either Las Vegas, Mexico, San Diego, or Florida. A weekend of sunbathing and outdoor activity (with sunscreen of course) should help alot. I know it''s an expense and maybe even a vacation day or two, but considering what you''re losing from depression I''d think it''s worth it.
I''m moving to the NW this summer and I''ve made FI promise that we can go on a mini-vacation to somewhere sunny every winter.


You might want to also try closing your eyes and ''looking'' directly at the light box. And maybe some more vitamins?
 

Maisie

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Hi Indie

The holiday sounds like a brilliant idea but I live in the UK and it would be quite expensive for me to get away this winter at least. Next year however I am definitely going to get away somewhere. I feel that not only will it help me get in the sun, but also give me something to look forward to.

I honestly think the only thing keeping my spirits up this year is the thought of my gorgeous new e-ring coming in March/April!

I don''t take vitamins and I never even considered they might help. The doctor gave me some a few months ago but I kept forgetting to take them. I shall start taking them again.

Thankyou.
 

poptart

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I''m sorry you are suffering. I don''t know if I have SAD or not, but as soon as winter rolls around and the sun goes down by 4:30 or 5 I get really depressed and have lots of trouble getting out of bed in the morning. Someone mentioned getting lightbulbs that simulate natural light, and they really do work. I use them in all my outlets and they do help quite a lot. Also, I keep the shades drawn in the bedroom of course, but I have positioned the bed so that when the sun comes up it brightens the room and I am able to wake up to light, which is also very helpful as well. I also make sure that the inside of my house always has a lot of sunlight flooding into it, by keeping shades up when I''m home. If the sun isn''t out then I make sure lights are on! I am not sure what brands they have in England, but when you buy new bulbs you can also get the energy saving kind that will cut down on electric costs and help the environment!

One last thing too, as someone mentioned, is getting away to somewhere sunny. I know you live in England, but when it IS sunny out, make SURE you go outside, even if it''s cold. I do this also and it helps a lot just to feel the sun shining on me. Hope you find things getting easier!

*M*
 

Maisie

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Oh I am so silly - I just realised that I am my own worst enemy! I have a blackout blind up at my bedroom window!! No wonder I can''t wake up properly - its stopping any natural light coming into my room! Oh my goodness me...lol....

I am going to turn my bed around and get rid of the blackout blind. I am so glad I posted this on here. I did think twice as its not really a fun topic for you to read but the advice I have received so far is hopefully going to help a lot.

 

sumbride

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I do, and I use those lightbulbs too. I have them in my bathroom and by the bed, but I haven''t found them for canister lights yet so they aren''t all over the house. We have blackout blinds in our bedroom too since we live in the city, but the sun isn''t up yet when I have to get up anyway. There is a skylight in the hall that shines sunlight thru the transom when I''m able to sleep in on weekends.

I find that laying off the carbs helps a bit too... in the winter all I want is carbs... but it sort of contributes to my exhaustion and moodiness. Also, I try to plan at least one trip mid-way thru the winter to encourage me. It has gotten better with those modifications.
 

katebar

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Masiebelle I'm not trying to sell you anything but this alarm clock light is supposed to be very effective for SAD sun alarm clock I have bought a number of things of this site but the doctor who runs the site has a health email that goes out every week that is full of great information IMO.
Worth a look
 

Maisie

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Date: 1/29/2007 3:54:31 PM
Author: katebar
Masiebelle I''m not trying to sell you anything but this alarm clock light is supposed to be very affective for SAD sun alarm clock I have bought a number of things of this site but the doctor who runs the site has a health email that goes out every week that is full of great information IMO.
Worth a look
I have actually looked at one of those alarm clocks and I think I may have to get one. I will definitely check out the site too. Thankyou


Sumbride I wish I could lay off the carbs, its like my body takes over and I crave all the things I wouldn''t normally go for. I put on so much weight in the winter its unreal. Its like I am not in control. I hate it.
 

:)

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Sorry Maisie - I know that is a miserable feeling. The lightbox is good, and definitely get rid of those blackout shades!! I know it is hard to exercise/get outdoors in the winter - a couple of recommendations to try - consider warming your house up well so that you are willing to change into workout gear (haha actually getting out of my warm clothes to stand in the chilly room to change into workout gear is half the battle!!), put on a hat or even one of the headbands that covers your ears, get some warm gloves, maybe even a scarf. Get very cozy in your warm gear before even opening up the door. I bet that if you can make yourself go for a brisk walk you will ultimately feel better - not only with the SAD, but also about the winter weight yucks. I initially started exercising years ago in the winter by buying very warm gear - I started out walking briskly, and eventually started running (it was either that or do the funny fast walker/almost running thing!). It was extremely good for my mood/mental health. I hope it helps you too!
 

Ellen

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Maise, do you have a treadmill?
 

Maisie

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Date: 1/29/2007 5:48:54 PM
Author: :)
Sorry Maisie - I know that is a miserable feeling. The lightbox is good, and definitely get rid of those blackout shades!! I know it is hard to exercise/get outdoors in the winter - a couple of recommendations to try - consider warming your house up well so that you are willing to change into workout gear (haha actually getting out of my warm clothes to stand in the chilly room to change into workout gear is half the battle!!), put on a hat or even one of the headbands that covers your ears, get some warm gloves, maybe even a scarf. Get very cozy in your warm gear before even opening up the door. I bet that if you can make yourself go for a brisk walk you will ultimately feel better - not only with the SAD, but also about the winter weight yucks. I initially started exercising years ago in the winter by buying very warm gear - I started out walking briskly, and eventually started running (it was either that or do the funny fast walker/almost running thing!). It was extremely good for my mood/mental health. I hope it helps you too!
Lol! That really made me giggle - sorry I know I shouldn''t but it was funny. I agree I need to wrap up warm and get outside. And I know it won''t be as bad as I think it will. My hubby is off work all this week so I could drag him with me into the countryside (we live in a village).
 

Maisie

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Date: 1/29/2007 6:04:50 PM
Author: Ellen
Maise, do you have a treadmill?
No but I am looking around at exercise machines. I have seen a recumbant bike and one of those things.... where your arms and legs go at the same time, sort of like ski-ing... can''t for the life of me remember the name of it... anyway I will be buying one or the other. Just have to create space for it.
 

Ellen

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I know mentally I feel MUCH better when I'm faithful to my treadmill, that's why I asked. Exercise releases "feel good" hormones.
 

ljmorgan

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My mother has SAD -- I think I just have a normal, mild version of winter blahs. I have read that outdoor light, even when it is cloudly out, is more helpful to people with SAD than even light-box therapy, but since I don''t have SAD, I can''t truly attest to that. Marc and I both agreed we both sort of have the winter blahs, so we''ve been hitting the gym more, we''ve agreed to some outdoor walks, and I just ordered an all-natural superfood/vitamin formula that is supposed to help out on energy a bit. It''s very hard when the daylight in winter can be so short!
 

Maisie

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Date: 1/29/2007 6:25:44 PM
Author: Ellen
I know mentally I feel MUCH better when I''m faithful to my treadmill, that''s why I asked. Exercise releases ''feel good'' hormones.
Well I''m all for feeling good! I admire you for your faithfulness to your treadmill - I can''t even walk straight when I get off one of those!
 

Maisie

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Date: 1/29/2007 6:29:42 PM
Author: *Lindsey*
My mother has SAD -- I think I just have a normal, mild version of winter blahs. I have read that outdoor light, even when it is cloudly out, is more helpful to people with SAD than even light-box therapy, but since I don''t have SAD, I can''t truly attest to that. Marc and I both agreed we both sort of have the winter blahs, so we''ve been hitting the gym more, we''ve agreed to some outdoor walks, and I just ordered an all-natural superfood/vitamin formula that is supposed to help out on energy a bit. It''s very hard when the daylight in winter can be so short!
My sister keeps telling me that natural light is better than my light box. I am supposed to sit for about 45 minutes in front of it (its meant to be a fast working one) but if I don''t sit for at least 3 hours I feel dreadful. It took me weeks of it not helping me when I first got it for me to realise that the depression had gotten a grip on me and I had probably left it too late for this year.

Next year I will start to use it earlier - probably the beginning of September. Hopefully that way it will work and I won''t feel as bad as I have this year.
 

Ellen

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Date: 1/29/2007 6:32:22 PM
Author: Maisiebelle


Well I''m all for feeling good! I admire you for your faithfulness to your treadmill - I can''t even walk straight when I get off one of those!
lol Maise, you crack me up.


And, notice I said "when", which translates to, I don''t do it ALL the time.
 

Maisie

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Well Ellen from what I have experienced with you - I find you to be a lovely sweet and fabulous person. If thats what a treadmill does for you then lets be having one! I don''t mind walking round in circles if it will make me lovely!
 

Ellen

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Date: 1/29/2007 7:16:20 PM
Author: Maisiebelle
Well Ellen from what I have experienced with you - I find you to be a lovely sweet and fabulous person. If thats what a treadmill does for you then lets be having one! I don''t mind walking round in circles if it will make me lovely!
LOL!!


And thanks.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 1/29/2007 6:25:44 PM
Author: Ellen
I know mentally I feel MUCH better when I''m faithful to my treadmill, that''s why I asked. Exercise releases ''feel good'' hormones.
Ditto - treadmills and exercise really do help.
 

Eva17

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You really should try taking your vitamins. You might want to add some Vit D to your day. Without enough sun exposure, the skin doesn''t get to absorb enough vit d. And in the UK, sun can be a hard thing to come by.

Between adding a bit of outdoor exercise, the new bulbs around the house and the vitamins. You will feel like a new woman!!!


So like lots of brittish mums used to say, open wide, here is your cod liver oil!!!! Great source of vit D. Bleeeccchhhhh!!!!!!!

We are from UK, now I know why mom made us take that gross stuff.......
 

Ellen

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Date: 1/30/2007 10:13:12 AM
Author: Eva17


So like lots of brittish mums used to say, open wide, here is your cod liver oil!!!! Great source of vit D. Bleeeccchhhhh!!!!!!!

We are from UK, now I know why mom made us take that gross stuff.......
Funny, Lorelei and I were comparing notes not that long ago, both our moms made us take it. I live in the US though, my mom was/is just a health food nut.


And yes, it''s enough to make ya wanna, well, you know.
 

Maisie

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Date: 1/30/2007 10:19:30 AM
Author: Ellen

Date: 1/30/2007 10:13:12 AM
Author: Eva17


So like lots of brittish mums used to say, open wide, here is your cod liver oil!!!! Great source of vit D. Bleeeccchhhhh!!!!!!!

We are from UK, now I know why mom made us take that gross stuff.......
Funny, Lorelei and I were comparing notes not that long ago, both our moms made us take it. I live in the US though, my mom was/is just a health food nut.


And yes, it''s enough to make ya wanna, well, you know.
Ewww yuk! Not cod liver oil surely? Thats really horrible.


I will however take vitamins lol.... they don''t taste that nasty!

I am definitely looking forward to being a new woman!
 

anchor31

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I have SAD also. I certainly understand how miserable you feel. Thanks for starting this thread!
 

Maisie

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Hi Anchor

I''m sorry you have SAD too. January is my worst month - is it yours too? I feel low and gloomy and anxious all the time. I got really upset the other day and smashed a plate - all because my 16 yr old son gave me attitude. I have no ability to cope with stress at all. I heard the only cure is to move to the Caribbean. You fancy joining me? I promise no plate smashing!

Maisie
 

rockzilla

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I grew up in New England and moved to Southern California for college. I found that when I moved here, I was just generally happier (even though it took some getting used to) and my grades were better, etc. I agree that it is important to get OUTSIDE if you can. It is pretty depressing to leave home while it is still dark, work inside an office all day, and then the sun has already set when you are going home. But if you can do a 12-20 min walk outside, even if it is cloudy, that will at least get your heart and lungs going.

Don''t even ask about the winter I spent in Montreal...
 

monarch64

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I''ve wondered for a few years now if I could possibly have this disorder...I live in the Midwest and have experienced many of the symptoms of SAD but have never mentioned it to a doctor or been diagnosed. What do you tell your doctor? Is there some sort of questionnaire involved, or do you just tell you doctor you think you have it?
 
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