SAD – When Seasonal Depression Gets Out of Control

Do you worry that your struggle with seasonal blues is lasting longer, or has become more intense than usual? How can you tell if this is merely a temporary ‘down time’, or if you may have an actual problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD? Should you get treatment from a physician? Educate yourself about the symptoms of this condition, how this disorder can affect you, and what treatments are most useful.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is not just feeling “down” because winter is coming. This disorder begins when fall heads toward winter and the days become shorter. Symptoms usually start sometime during late summer or early fall. Furthermore, because of the severity and consequences of SAD and other types of depression, doctors need extensive evidence of the condition before they are willing to make a definite diagnosis. Although symptoms may be quite severe, doctors do not usually diagnose a person with this condition until after he or she shows symptoms for at least three winters in a row.

Individuals who suffer from SAD begin to experience emotions of sadness, decreased motivation, and often sleep for excessive periods. Furthermore, they report a craving for sugar or sweets. Additionally, the majority of persons diagnosed with SAD also have poor immune system functioning. Frequently, they find themselves becoming ill much more easily than persons who do not have SAD.

This disorder can negatively affect a person’s ability to function professionally or educationally. This decreased motivation can make it difficult for a person even to get out of bed and tend to normal activities. Sufferers have trouble participating in social encounters, or even at home. They frequently experience times of extreme anxiety and negativity. Occasionally, symptoms become severe and disabling enough that some sufferers even think about suicide and have to be hospitalized for treatment.

Not surprisingly, females seem to experience SAD more frequently than men do. Additionally, this disorder seems to get better yearly when spring arrives. In fact, in March or April, symptoms usually subside or resolve altogether – until autumn returns again. This is true even in states that tend to be cloudy or rainy throughout the entire year. In fact, almost one-fifth of those who are diagnosed with seasonal depression will eventually exhibit symptoms of bipolar disorder.

These sufferers primarily tend to be depressed in the winter months, but report normal moods during the remainder of the year. At times, however, individuals describe instances of unexpected elation, also known as mania. Like any other type of depression, this condition may become quite severe and even disabling if left untreated. Moreover, some persons experience very low-grade forms of SAD; they may struggle with sleepiness, decreased vigor, and loss of appetite. These individuals, however, do not usually endure instances of depressive moods or anxiety.

This kind of depression is fairly rare in sunny areas such as Tennessee, southern California, and even Colorado. In contrast, people who live in states with a large number of cloudy days, such as Indiana, Michigan, or Washington are much more likely to develop SAD. Citizens of countries such as Denmark, Germany, and Ireland also struggle with seasonal depression.

Scientists have tried many alternative strategies to help people recover from this debilitating problem. They have tried placing people under artificial light in an attempt to help them manufacture more serotonin and decrease depression symptoms. Researchers have also worked with medications such as antidepressants, and supplements, such as melatonin, in an attempt to relieve these symptoms of depression. Many individuals who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder also visit counselors when their condition is at its worst.

Each of these approaches have been used with varying degrees of success. All, however, are definitely more expensive and time-consuming than two more recent, innovative methods. Hypnotherapists have perfected the art of coaching clients to learn both NLP and hypnotherapy methods for depression. Using the latter method, people learn to talk themselves out of a depressive period and resolve their symptoms. These innovative therapies, hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming, have proven to have an astonishing degree of success in assisting people to recover from, and avoid future problems with SAD.

Summary: SAD is a kind of winter blues that recurs every year at almost the same time. Only persons who face this illness can determine whether they will continue fighting the symptoms alone, year after year, or to look for help in resolving this condition forever. Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming for seasonal depression are both effective, innovative therapies that promise a rapid escape from depression without spending enormous amounts of money or energy.

Alan B. Densky, CH specializes in stress and depression related symptoms as an NGH certified hypnotist. He has helped thousands of clients since 1978. He offers CDs for hypnotic depression therapy. Visit his Neuro-VISION hypnosis website for the hypnosis article library, or watch his free videos on hypnosis.

– Alan B. Densky, CH