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January 26, 2007

The Weather Channel Has Blogs--Seasonal Affective Disorder

Did you know the Weather Channel has blogs?

It's the dead of winter. Snow is on the ground. The sky has been gray for what seems like forever now. It's enough to get you down, and it does. Millions of Americans suffer varying degrees of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). SAD is linked to a biochemical imbalance in humans that reacts to lack of light...remember the daylight hours are shorter in the winter. Symptoms can include fatigue, lack of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, craving high carbohydrate foods, and weight gain. These symptoms usually subside in the spring.

Increasing your exposure to light can help improve your symptoms. The American Psychiatric Association recommends walking outside and rearranging your home or office so that you are exposed to more window light. Severe cases of SAD can be treated with light therapy. It has proven to be an effective treatment for SAD. It usually involves exposure to bright light for 30-90 minutes a day.

I think I may have SAD. Symptoms can include

  • fatigue--I always seem run down after a hard day skiing
  • lack of interest in normal activities--I am almost complete uninterested in work or taking care of myself. Hell, when I am at the mountain, I barely shower, shave or clean up at all.
  • social withdrawal--I barely even talk to anyone during ski season that isn't going up skiing with me
  • craving high carbohydrate foods--Me, ski day, pasta or Chinese food, nuff said
  • weight gain--have you seen me lately?

So here is my cure...

  • Time off work to cope with my new found mental illness (as opposed to my other long standing mental illnesses)
  • Tanning bed in the condo to help with light therapy
  • A more understanding boss that cares about my fragile mental health and allows me to take most of the winter months off so that I can deal with the problems my SAD causes

SAD is no laughing matter. I may never be able to work again during the winter months due to the debilitating nature of the disease.

Posted by Justin at January 26, 2007 04:22 PM