by Comprehensive Staff
Winter in Central Washington, for some, brings on a feeling of sadness, more specifically SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a treatable condition that is different from other types of depression. SAD begins in the fall and lifts in spring. The seasonal aspect of SAD may be related to the body’s natural rhythm adjusting to a decrease of sunlight. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the symptoms of SAD include “fatigue, lack of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, craving foods high in carbohydrates, and weight gain.” If you suspect you may be experiencing SAD, consider trying some of these aids:
Socialize: Spend time with friends at a party, watch a football game together, volunteer in your community, join a club, go to your place of worship, or meet a friend for lunch or coffee.
Activate: Get up and get out. Walk at least 20 minutes a day, join a gym, clean the house or garage, go sledding or skiing, change your surroundings and visit another town for the day.
Daylight: Get out in the sun. Even on a cloudy day you are benefitting from the suns energy.
All of these aids can help reduce the experience of sadness and low energy that can be associated with SAD. If you find that these things are not working for you it may be time to seek professional help. If so, you may be asked to use a light box or a therapist may help you with cognitive behavioral therapy. In some cases a medical professional may recommend trying antidepressant medication. These resources are available for you at Comprehensive’s sites in Yakima, Kittitas, Klickitat, Benton-Franklin, and Walla Walla counties.