Seasonal Affective Disorder: When Winter Brings on the Blues

Woman with seasonal affective disorderEverybody has the occasional bad day when your computer crashes right in the middle of a big work assignment or your mechanic is the bearer of bad (and expensive) news. But, for some people, those bad days can stretch into weeks or even months during winter.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects up to 20 percent of the population causing symptoms including weight gain, overwhelming fatigue and a heightened sense of irritability.

If you are starting a new life of sobriety and think you might have seasonal affective disorder, it’s important to talk to your recovery team to get a professional diagnosis. They can put together a targeted treatment plan to help you avoid turning to drugs or alcohol as a way of self-medicating.

Though, similar to many other behavioral health issues, making healthy lifestyle choices can help alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Here are a few you might consider.

(1) Keep your home and office light and BRIGHT.

Many researchers believe that the root cause of SAD is related to the limited hours of daylight during the winter months. While you can’t fast forward to spring, you can alter your environment. Keep the curtains open at home and put a lamp on your desk at the office.

(2) Get some fresh air.

When you don’t feel like yourself, you might be more inclined to stay inside and hibernate. But, that will likely only exacerbate your mood. Make a point of spending some time outside every day. Even just a brief walk around your block can help.

(3) Nourish yourself with walnuts, salmon and flaxseed.

They offer a good, natural source of omega-3 fatty acids, a healthy fat shown to boost brain health. It works by increasing the level of dopamine in your brain and facilitating neuronal growth in your frontal cortex.

Christ-Based Behavioral Health Treatment

At Christian Rehab Network, our team of credentialed therapists and pastors specialize in treating co-occurring disorders that often accompany addiction. With Christ-based care, we can help you start a new life of sobriety and address other issues including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are searching for help strengthening your relationship with Christ while overcoming an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call (877) 310-9545 to learn more.

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