Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is not a fancy name for the winter blues – it’s a no-kidding form of depression that accompanies seasonal changes and can leave you feeling tired, moody and … well … sad.SAD is included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition
, and has many symptoms including oversleeping, fatigue, and weight gain brought on by increased food cravings. Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, renowned psychiatrist and SAD expert, has estimated that 6% of people in the U.S. suffer from the disorder.SAD + Relatives = Crazy Face
The holiday season can be a stressful time for people, anyway – an ironic feature of American culture if ever there was one: Let’s celebrate by freaking out over presents and parties instead of relaxing!But, that’s what we do, and the fact that it’s colder than a mother-in-law’s stare and gets dark at 4pm doesn’t help anything. In fact, SAD is an ill-timed affliction in that it often makes us not want to be around other people during a time when that’s exactly what’s expected of us. Talk about irony!Knowing this can help, though. It should make you feel better to realize that it may be the weather and not Uncle Eddie’s creepy penguin jokes that are making you want to hide in a closet.Deliciously Depressing
It’s a horrible cosmic joke that SAD strikes during the most decadent time of year – as if you need a nagging compulsion to eat when every available surface of your life is heaped with food. Injustice!Again, though, it helps to know these things. Try and reserve personal judgment when you catch yourself double-fisting cookies while you’re waiting for the cheese to melt on a tub full of nachos. Your brain may have simply turned against you.Lighten Up
We would have been skeptical had we not done the research, but reputable organizations like the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Biotechnology Information insist that light therapy
is a first-line treatment for SAD. That said, it should be noted that we are not doctors and this article is not intended as medical advice. If you feel SAD may be impacting your life you should seek a professional evaluation.ATGStores.com
does carry light boxes, should you decide that it might help cheer you up, but it’s our hope that SAD is never an issue for you or anyone you know – even Uncle Eddie.