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Seasonal Affective Disorder help please?


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So every single winter all I want to do is snuggle up in bed and sleep or watch tv. It takes me forever to get up the motivation to do most mundane or uninteresting things. This makes it near impossible to get to the gym, clean, or cook at times. I start skimping on some hygiene tasks. Then I get annoyed with how I look or how messy my house is. I'm not sad at the moment. Usually for me depression starts with increasing lack of motivation and pleasure and in the final stages involves extreme sadness. So basically this is the status quo for me every winter and it gets old very fast. I've increased my paxil and effexor xr, but it hasn't been long so I don't notice any difference yet. My doctor said I should invest in a light box for next year, but that they usually dont help unless you begin using them earlier in the winter. I am usually OK until the new year. Then it is really bad until the spring. ;)

Anyone else find anything that has helped them with this? I know I need to spend more time outside to get the sunlight, but damn is it cold!

PS: Yes I get paid to help other people with these kind of issues, but I feel like I've tried everything I can think of with this.

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I'm not sad at the moment. Usually for me depression starts with increasing lack of motivation and pleasure and in the final stages involves extreme sadness.

The short and easiest answer is; start NOW. If you're not SAD/really depressed now and just feeling more or less like a slug, but you KNOW what is coming down the pike, then get your ass in gear NOW, right? (take my advice, I'm not using it. ;))

I know I need to spend more time outside to get the sunlight, but damn is it cold!
The light doesn't have to come from outside directly. If you have a really sunny window (or windows) you can sit by the window (like while you read or something) and soak up some rays. Go where you put your plants for the winter. North and East in the morning, South and West in the afternoon. If that doesn't work, some people try tanning salons, but I wouldn't. I don't trust the skin cancer risks. I don't know if light boxes work at all much less that it matters when you start them. I don't really have SAD as much as MDD, so my depression is slinking around waiting to strike no matter where we are in relation to the sun.

PS: Yes I get paid to help other people with these kind of issues, but I feel like I've tried everything I can think of with this.
Yup, and my Dad built houses when we were kids and guess who's house was always falling down all around them?
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Unfortunately, the sunlight in the northeastern US isn't useful in terms of SAD because the sun is too low in the sky and the rays don't deliver the Vitamin D and other good stuff that we get in the spring, summer and early fall.

I don't use a light box, but I have used a full-spectrum bulb in my reading lamp and I sat under it for 2-3 hours every night after dinner. It seemed to help my mood.

If you want to get outdoors or get to a gym, try to find a partner. When it's a cold, sleety December day, sometimes the only reason I go for my walk is because my two walking partners expect me to be there. (Our dogs all romp together, so I would be depriving my dog of fun if I didn't go.) Call a friend and make a date to mall-walk, or hit the gym, or do the eliptical machine together. Whatever it takes.

Make sure you're getting enough Vitamin D this time of year. I think that's a real help to depressed people.

Last year I bought snow shoes. That way, I had no excuse NOT to walk once the snow fell. Get yourself some polar fleece and ski mittens and warm boots and enlist a friend to get you outside every day. Don't wait until it gets bad---S9 is absolutely right about that.

olga

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For a cheap-ass alternative(if you really must economize on something important like this) you can buy a full-spectrum fluorescent tube in the pet store. Get one made for desert lizards.

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