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SAD – ‘Tis The Season – For Seasonal Affective Disorder

Fraser Valley – This is a confusing season for many. The time change signals that the days are getting shorter. Halloween has come and gone and the joys of Christmas is just around the corner. The leaves are falling and there should be some feel of joy in the air.

For some, there is just … dread.

In the fall and early winter, there are many people who suffer from a condition that is very real and filled with ridicule.

This condition is called “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” or SAD.

It has also been called the Xmas blues, but as a recognized strain of depression, it is real and can be debilitating.

First thing to remember, you are not alone. There is treatment and help!

The Canadian Mental Health Association describes it this way: Weather often affects people’s moods. Sunlight breaking through clouds can lift our spirits, while a dull, rainy day may make us feel a little gloomy. While noticeable, these shifts in mood generally do not affect our ability to cope with daily life. Some people, however, are vulnerable to a type of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. For them, the shortening days of late autumn are the beginning of a type of clinical depression that can last until spring. This condition is called “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” or SAD.

For many (including one staff member at FVN) a simple lightbox can help. It recreates sunlight in the home or working environment and works for many. Plus it is an alternative to drug therapy.

“Old School” Lightbox in the FVN office.

Talk to your health professional about this.  The Canadian Mental Health Association can be reached here.

Fraser Health has information here.




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