The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Lady Survivors => Topic started by: Sarey on October 18, 2011, 02:21:56 PM

Title: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Sarey on October 18, 2011, 02:21:56 PM
This is cross posted in the Campfire section under Morale but I think maybe it fits better over here.  ???


With winter fast upon us I've been looking into various natural treatments for seasonal depression. One thing that stands out is those special lights designed to mimic or trick our bodies into believing we are actually getting sunlight.

In looking at these “full spectrum” lights the price for the special light boxes seems absurd. I was hoping by searching the forums here to find a thread that discussed this but none of my search titles found what I was looking for.

Does anyone here know of or have experience with either the light boxes themselves or the use of the so called full spectrum light bulbs you can purchase at Home Depot or Lowes?

If you’ve used the light bulbs do they reach the suggested 10,000 lux level? I’ve read about Vitamin D and think I will start taking extra of that too.

Any other ideas, thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

My apologies if there really is another thread somewhere; I just couldn’t find one.

Irene
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Smurf Hunter on October 18, 2011, 03:59:28 PM
Beer and football on TV ;D
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Oil Lady on October 18, 2011, 04:20:06 PM
This suggestion isn't possible for a lot of people, but it DOES help me.

I don't want to have my bedroom be a one-window room. I want my bedroom to be a corner room so that there's at least two windows and they are each on two totally different walls. That way you are increasing your daily sunlight exposure in the one room that is "yours" by easily 50%. 

Cap Cod cottages are known for such rooms. And some farm houses also. Some forms of modern architecture tend to be extra stingy with windows. So this can often be a very difficult luxury to attain for yourself.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: FreeLancer on October 18, 2011, 04:24:59 PM
SAD is real problem and some people really struggle with it.  I bought my wife a Philips GoLite BLU last winter, but she won't use it.  It's easier for me to get her to spend some time outside when the sun's out, and this makes a big difference for her, especially on the weekends when she doesn't have the stimulation from work.  Granted, in California we have a good deal more sun than most of the country, but winter can still bring her way down and I have to watch to make sure that she doesn't get too SAD.  You know what they say, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: KellyAnn on October 18, 2011, 05:31:16 PM
At work I try to sit by the windows in the lunch room or eat lunch in my car when it's sunny out.
I've looked at getting a "happy light" but my employer doesn't like us bringing in electrical stuff from home.
Spending as much time as possible outside (or driving around in my car) on the weekends help too.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Sarey on October 18, 2011, 07:08:55 PM
Thank you for giving me a few more ideas. I spend as much time in the sun as I can get it just seems that it isn't enough. Ultimately it would be ideal if I could take a page out of the bears book and hibernate but we just don't tick that way.

Also extra vitamins and as many veggies as I can get are on my to do list. Hopefully this season will be better.

Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Roundabouts on October 19, 2011, 09:40:41 AM
I get out side as much as possible however that is not enough living in the PNW.   I try to have my chairs sitting near a window.  There is much research on Vit D that work great for me.  If you have your blood tested you may find that you are way low.  I take 10000IU a day along with b vit that really helps.  Lots of water at least 1/2 oz per pound of body weight per day. 

Paint the inside of your house white or a light yellow get rid of dark colors.  Orange is the happiest color yellow the brightest and most reflective also a color that helps your remember, then a form of white.  Painting your ceilings  a very very light pale blue like sky can help.  If you live in an apartment and can't paint. Get flat white cheap sheets  paint them or dye them (paint works better) and hang them up.  Looks like painted walls or high end linen wall paper. 

Wheat grass also helps and is easy to grow in your house.  The press can be on the $$ side but I feel is worth it.  Working out and getting your blood pumping I mean really pumping is also very very helpful.  On the days I just can't get going I will go to a tanning bed for about 30 seconds.  That is usually enough to charge my batteries for a week or better.  The most I have ever had to do that was 3 times in one winter season it was a bad year.  Usually once or twice a season works for me.   

I have not had that much luck with the light bulbs.  In my house I have regular bulbs that are rated natural light.  I also use florescent tubes in my studio 1/2 warm 1/2 cool.  The luxes are not there but it helps. Plants like it too.   Eating more live foods than dead foods.  Meaning foods that grow that way vs processed. (I am a chip junky it's hard not to have them from time to time)  The Paleo solution may help you too.  To new for me to say for sure.

Everything seems to help a bit the more I do the better I feel.  The biggest helps for me are Vit D water working out and happy environment (paint colors).
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: nature_sprite on October 19, 2011, 05:41:11 PM
hey you don't need a special light box for full spectrum lighting. they sell bulbs to go in any lamp you have handy in your home. also bulbs sold in pet stores for lizards are full spectrum lighting. lizards will die far sooner without full spectrum lighting.

full spectrum lighting contains all colors of the spectrum.

flouresants contains only green and yellow... one reason why they are dangerous for humans. even those without SAD can get headaches, drain your energy and studies have proven humans devolop cavities by an extreme percentage than those to use only full spectrum.

these new mercury/spiraly bulbs are DISASTEROUS for humans. and they are making them mandatory in usa within a couple years. it's to my understanding halogen may still be available, but heard that full spectrum will be off the market for humans.
if you haven't heard the dangers on these mercurys.... youtube it. or i'll try to find the link for anyone. it's the absolute truth how these mercury bulbs wack us out...1000 times worse than flourestants.


even though the sun doesn't shine as brightly in winter time... the suns energy is still available.
i highly suggest to sit outside and go into medative mode and draw the suns energy into your field and allow it's energy to fill you up. i've done this many times and it works!!! i learned from another this technique.

also SAD can be mind over matter and every human and being alive has mind over matter. draw your strength within to not allow anything to bring you down. we all have the source to overcome the negative.

halogen bulbs are simular to full spectrum bulbs. they cost a lot but last longer and worth the money as same as full spectrum bulbs. worth every penny.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: KellyAnn on October 20, 2011, 04:43:58 AM
I have not had that much luck with the light bulbs.  In my house I have regular bulbs that are rated natural light.  I also use florescent tubes in my studio 1/2 warm 1/2 cool.  The luxes are not there but it helps. Plants like it too.   Eating more live foods than dead foods.  Meaning foods that grow that way vs processed. (I am a chip junky it's hard not to have them from time to time)  The Paleo solution may help you too.  To new for me to say for sure.

Have you tried kale chips?
My husband and I really like them.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: mikem on October 20, 2011, 10:04:41 AM
Haha no help here, in Seattle we have SAD year round  :'(
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: EmmaPeel on October 20, 2011, 10:51:15 AM
I've had issues before.  Getting an Ott light for my desk at worked helped since my office had no windows.  Keeping up with my B12 shots and a good vitamin helps as well.  Just knowing it's an issue has made a big difference as I know I need to be proactive.  I have also used herbs in the past.  Exercise everyday is vital.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: amanadoo on October 21, 2011, 07:42:05 AM
I am trying to get out ahead of this this year! We are Seattle-area as well and last winter was the pits. We just *couldn't* get out in the weather like everyone told us to do. The mud in our yard was the kind that sucks your in to the knees!.

We'll start taking multi vitamins again (we use nutriberries. My deprived-of-candy-kids think they are candy)....We'll be eating A LOT more red meat....I want to start incorporating high-vitamin organ meats into our diet too....More fish....More raw milk...

I don't know what else. Vitamin D from the doc for sure if the other things don't cut it. I'll try to stay busy this year. I go into a halfway hibernation mode without sunshine, I think.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Sarey on October 21, 2011, 01:27:14 PM
I hadn't even thought about eating more red meat. That's one I'll be adding to the list as well as checking out the full spectrum lights. Anything that helps and doesn't cost an arm and a leg is on the table.

My snowshoes are already hanging "On the Barn Door with Care" and in the meantime hiking is perfect here this time of year.

Sarey
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: eronious on February 14, 2012, 09:06:03 PM
Actually, I found a different solution.  I tried all the full spectrum lights because my case seemed pretty severe (undiagnosed, just personal observation). I was crabby, had terrible sleep patterns, was gaining weight at an alarming weight... you know, all the classic symptoms of SAD.  Anyway, I read that regulating your sleep patterns can help.  I'm already a terrible sleeper because I tend to worry on dumb stuff when I'm lying in bed and the next thing I know the sun is coming up.  So the prescription I came up with that helped me a lot was a sunrise alarm clock, melatonin, not eating for at least a few hours before bed and less caffeine and alcohol.

The first was the most important.  I found that as I was getting up while it was getting darker and darker, my mood likewise darkened.  I hated it and everyone around me.   :pissed:  So I figured if I could wake up with the light, it would really help.  I found a model I could plug my existing lamp into because I thought those bulb-ish ones looked dumb.  I liked this model also because I could then experiment with different kinds of bulbs and wattages to find out what worked (in the end I chose as close to a full spectrum LED as I could find).  It also allowed me to set the length of time for the sunrise (about 15 minutes works well for me) as well as sunset!  At night, if I find I'm getting off my sleep schedule, I'll take a melatonin about 45 minutes before I want to be asleep then set my "sunset" for 45 minutes and read some fantasy novel brain-bubblegum.  By the end of that 45 minutes I'm out and I awaken refreshed with the "sunrise."  I find not drinking especially on weeknights and limiting my coffee somewhat as well as not messing with my circadian rhythms by eating too close to bedtime helps me get the best sleep I can.  Also, if I find I'm worrying about something, I get up and make a note of it so I can make sure I take care of it the next day, which relieves the worrying, but that's not really SAD related. 

Anyway, I'd highly recommend working on your sleep cycles, especially your mornings because it's a lot less painful to be awakened gently like that which will set the tone for the rest of your day.  I'm usually awake before the actual alarm goes off.  Nothing like being jarred out of a deep sleep by an annoying sound to set you off on the wrong path from the get go!  Good luck!   ;)
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Cedar on February 14, 2012, 09:23:38 PM
For the last 3 years before I left Oregon for Canada I was getting it. All the sunshine on the snow up north I never had it. Was questioning the other day if I was getting S.A.D. again.. but hiking alot.

Cedar
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Sarey on February 29, 2012, 08:08:52 AM
One thing I have noticed this year is my food choices. If I eat plenty of veggies, meat and fruits I feel a lot better. Once I start adding starchy foods and sweets to the mix I feel more depressed.

I do have one of those light boxes and have it on behind me while I read. I can't stand it shining in my face and it still seems to work.

This winter in Maine has been pretty mild and I've been outside a lot more then usuall for this time of year and it's been fun hiking in such in the snow.

Sarey
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Bonnieblue2A on March 06, 2012, 09:36:27 PM
This was my first winter using the vitamin supplements D and SAM-e.  I think they helped as when I went a week or more without them I could tell a difference. Much happier with than without.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Roundabouts on March 06, 2012, 10:41:43 PM
  I'm already a terrible sleeper because I tend to worry on dumb stuff when I'm lying in bed and the next thing I know the sun is coming up.    ;)

I have started taking GABBA and it helps me quiet the mind.  In turn helps me sleep. In turn helps SAD Fibro and most important prevents me from going postal.  Low or poor quality sleep makes me very ugly by the 4th day  >:(  2-3 hours of on and off sleep in 24 just don't cut it. 
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Klonus on March 07, 2012, 11:42:58 AM
The way that I deal with SAD is taking daily walks when weather permits, taking vitamin d supplements, and occasionally tanning. I'm from the north and I usually visit the southwest so I try keep myself from burning to much by prepping my skin. Being outdoors is probably the best solution. Atleast for me.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Adam B. on March 19, 2012, 10:39:46 AM
I get SAD in the winter every year to some degree.

3 winters ago I had just been laid off and we had the WORST winter we've had in decades (the "Snowpocalypse").

At the house I lived in at the time, we had a weird porch-like room that overlooked the park where I lived, 3 stories up from the ground. The room was poorly insulated and cold enough to freeze a glass of water sometimes in the winter — but during a sunny day, the room would get up to 90 degrees while it was 20 outside because the sun was low and shined directly through the windows.

During that unemployed winter I was VERY depressed, and one day I came up with the idea to go lay down in the sun in front of that window on the couch, watch some movies or whatever for 2-3 hours at a time. I would wear nothing but my Umbro shorts and just let the sun hit my whole body like i was tanning.

It helped tremendously. I can really say I felt a huge difference every time I did it.

The other things I have done to get over winter depression have been to start skiing again this past winter — that ALSO helps tremendously because when a huge snowstorm blows in, instead of being angry and upset about it, it all of a sudden becomes EXCITING and makes you want to get to the ski slopes as quickly as possible. Just having something to look forward to is extremely helpful.

I got back into skiing last winter and spent less than $300 +/- on used skis, tune-up, boots, and discount lift tickets to go a handful of times and it only gets cheaper now that I have all the gear I need. It is not exactly a cheap sport to get into but there are things you can do to make it bearable. It is worth it for me because it transforms winter into something COOL instead of something DREADFUL.

Also, even more expensive but totally worth it — plan vacations KNOWING you are going to want a break from winter. I have gone places like Vegas or Orlando in February really cheaply ($99 flights and $45/night hotels in vegas for one) — with a 2 day grand canyon excursion in there...

Being able to hike through the desert when it's 70 degrees out and sunny for a few days, or go hang out on a beach for a few days with lots of sunshine never hurts!

I even have Virginia Beach and some other places in my weather app on my phone just in case they get a warm streak in the winter and I am home cold, and bored because it is an easy half-day drive for me and camping right on the beach is not very expensive down there. I can do a weekend down there for about 2 tanks of gas, and $20 a night for state park camping right on the beach.

When they get a 70 degree weather streak while it is snowing here — its totally worth the drive. I've done that a few times over the years.

I am the absolute last person who wants to go outside when it is cold, but having a good reason to, and/or splurging some money on a trip to get away from it has always helped me a TON when it comes to dealing with the SAD.

My worst winters were the ones I could not afford to do any of that stuff and kept myself cooped up indoors for the 4-5 months it is cold.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Adam B. on March 19, 2012, 10:52:58 AM
Quote
My snowshoes are already hanging "On the Barn Door with Care" and in the meantime hiking is perfect here this time of year.

An even cheaper solution like skiing that is sure to work great! I want a pair of snowshoes and now that they are all cheap as hell on craigslist I of course am not interested because it is spring now LOL.

I did search for cross country skis this last winter on the cheap because there are TONS and TONS of places to X-country ski for free where I live if there is enough snow, and most of my mountain biker friends do it so I'd have company.

I usually go downhill skiing alone because it is expensive and my family hasn't really done it yet, but something always gets in the way for all of us to go on the days where it would be cheap as hell for everyone to give it a try (monday / tuesday deep discounts). I only have one other friend who is a good downhill skier and he lives in Alaska now skiing real mountains.

Anything you can find that you actually enjoy outside when it is cold is the best thing for SAD. I never used to get depressed as a kid in the winter — but then looking back my friends and I were ALWAYS outside doing SOMETHING and we always got plenty of sun.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Klonus on March 22, 2012, 04:47:56 PM
I totally agree about the skiing and snow shoes. I'm partial to cross country skiing since its great exercise so you stay warm even in extreme cold.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Adam B. on March 23, 2012, 11:08:27 AM
Back when I was mountain biking more, I always enjoyed doing it in the winter — but HATED the process of getting ready for it. Even when I go skiiing, it is an ordeal to get ready for it, layers of clothing etc etc.

But the coolest part of mountain biking when it was really cold is that all the trails get frozen solid and become rock hard, and your tires really grip as if you are on pavement and you can really ZIP through trails that are otherwise muddy all year.

Any physical activity like that, people freak out when I am basically wearing a shell and a wicking T-shirt (I can't even remember a time when I went skiing with a sweater on), because all that physical activity warms you up.

I see people who do not go out in the cold much, dress in many layers and then have to pull over because they overheat and have to dump all of them vs. myself where I may start out cold and shivering a little bit, but 5 minutes into the ordeal I am comfortable.

I can say for certain that my energy has been on a big upswing overall the last few weeks. I went skiing 2 weekends ago but it has been 80 degrees outside ever since and now my lawn is overgrown and my bushes I wanted to trim back while they were brittle and easy to work with are all sprouting and budding like crazy.

Winter really does drag most people down.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Cool Blue on March 23, 2012, 06:34:22 PM
I've used the lights before and I think they helped.  I recently started taking vitamin D and those seem to be really making a difference.

One thing I try to expose myself to sunshine coming into the house.  I'll move my chair over while reading or on the computer and take my shirt off to get more skin exposure.

I'm currently working on building a passive solar sunroom/greenhouse so I'm hoping that will help a lot as well.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Hilly on April 16, 2012, 06:53:14 PM
I get the blues every winter, too. This year was less severe. I really think that keeping busy doing things you enjoy, getting regular gentle exercise, and taking vitamin D supplements helped a lot.

If you spend more time doing something enjoyable and constructive, you'll spend less time feeling sad.

When inside, sit near a sunny window if possible. Get some house plants and living things to care for to remind you it's not always going to be cold/snowy/dark.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: ttubravesrock on April 16, 2012, 11:38:39 PM
Does anyone experience the opposite of SAD?  I get cranky and tired when the sun starts showing up for longer hours in March and April because that means winter is ending.  On the other hand, from September until mid-March, you wont find anyone who is happier about it being dark and cold.  I don't mind summer itself, but spring sucks!
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Cool Blue on April 17, 2012, 09:40:56 PM
Never heard of that, sorry.

I've had tons of energy the last couple of weeks.  It might be the sun, but I've also cut out a lot of carbs and diet sodas (all sodas really).  Maybe all three things are helping/
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: mrdan on April 18, 2012, 04:23:45 AM
I too used to deal with being cranky during the winter. I honestly didn't know it had a name, I just called it,  I hate winter.

About 10 years ago, when I got married and we had our first child, I was severely challenged to keep up my usual lifestyle (surfing, winter trips, etc.). That was the first time I noticed that winter really sucked. I decided I needed some new hobbies. I also noticed that all seasons have their place and their positives. I built a new shop behind my house, put in some heat, and started learning to weld. Over the years I've moved, built a new shop, bought machine tools, attended classes, etc. I would still get dumpy in the winter, but not as badly. The key thing for me was about 4 years ago. I started putting things into the season that they belong to. By that I mean during the summer I take the family boating, camping, etc. That's the time to get away. Yeah, everyone does that. I didn't. I worked all the time. During spring, it's time to plant and work in the garden. And most importantly here, during the winter, I'll be in my shop. If I have projects that require shop time, I DO NOT WORK ON THEM unless it's winter. Actually, I won't work on them unless it's below a certain temperature. I'm not talking building ships in a bottle, I'm talking building a wood splitter, a new wood stove, etc.

What I've found is that because all my projects tend to pile up, come winter I am way behind and have to work extremely hard just to knock some of them out before spring gets here. I'm talking getting up at 4-5 am to get into the shop to get to work and coming out at 6pm to get dinner. My wife is happier because I give her a good answer for when things get done (Why can't you spend more time in the house with us?, When are you going to get that door fixed?, etc) First answer is summer, second answer is this coming winter. The big difference for me was that instead of being desperate for spring to get here, I find that the closer to spring I get, the more harried I get to get into the shop and try to finish. I actually get a little cranky if spring comes too soon, as it did this year. That's like being upset that the Mrs. wants too much boom boom, to quote Heavy G's marriage advice column. It's a good problem to have.

Anyway, that's my advice. Find something that is a winter task that you enjoy, and do it only in the winter. Worked for me.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: geoffreys7 on April 18, 2012, 09:46:04 AM
Looks like I just joined the club.  Went to Doctor last week already being treated for depression.  Office called yesterday and said I am very low on  Vitamin D so he called in a prescription for it to my pharmacy, I need to take twice a week and go for another test in 6 weeks,  :(
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Kate Change on June 27, 2012, 07:05:41 PM
When I lived in Canada, we used to take codliver or fish oil in the winter.  (It's got vitamin D in it too.)  We took the pill form because the liquid is kind of gross.  My mom used to feed us extra fish when we were grumpy, she said it would help.  She always picked fatty fish like salmon and tuna.  I've never felt particularly affect by SAD, so I don't know if that's because this was the amazing solution it was cracked up to be, or if I'm just more prone to other things.  We also used to down hill and cross country ski alot, so we were still outside a fair bit.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Optix on June 28, 2012, 04:23:25 AM
I've done the vitamin D too, my doc said I was deficient as my fingernails were curved in the wrong way in the center and up at the outside edges. I read some where that when you are outside and it's sunny not to wear sunglasses as your body picks up its signal through your eyes. I've tried a metal halide sunlight spectrum light above my desk and that helped a bit. 
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Emme on July 11, 2012, 07:48:55 AM
Just a newbie that would like to leave my 2 cents.

I hail from southern Canada, so taking vitamin D during winter makes *the* biggest difference for me. The darkness kinda sucks when its over a few months.  Plus anything that can cheer you up and lift your spirits is generally a good thing :)
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Adam B. on July 12, 2012, 07:49:11 AM
I've been stocking up on dirt cheap deals on winter adventure gear in the off season while it is all dirt cheap on craigslist.

I picked up a pair of brand new $200+ snowshoes for $20 one day that someone never used and wanted to get rid of, and a free pair of cross country skis and poles my size. I found a pair of X Country Boots my size for about $20 if I ever arrange to pick them up.

I got my bicycles fixed up as well, and mountain biking in the winter can be fun as long as you have what you need to keep your feet and hands warm.

I am looking for any gear that would make winter more enjoyable since downhill skiing last winter picked up my spirits quite a bit. If I have a few other options to pick from this coming winter — ie. a GI winter tent with a small pot belly wood burner stove (the small dome ones) but that is probably out of reach for this winter.

Getting outside to get whatever sunshine is available and staying in shape will probably do more good for me than anything I can do indoors or supplements I can take.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Emme on July 17, 2012, 08:45:53 AM
Just a newbie that would like to leave my 2 cents.

I hail from southern Canada, so taking vitamin D during winter makes *the* biggest difference for me. The darkness kinda sucks when its over a few months.  Plus anything that can cheer you up and lift your spirits ( like outdoor activities etc..) is generally a good thing :)
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: busymomx3 on December 08, 2012, 02:10:36 PM
I get to the gym or go for a run outside as much as possible.  I'm in the PNW so there is lots of icky days.  I dislike being SAD :(.  Getting those muscles moving really seems to help.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Kayakmom on December 08, 2012, 04:08:00 PM
Moving to California.

Sorry, that's much help to you Northerners. I am from and lived in North Dakota until about 2 years ago.  There were many factors, but I think a low-level SAD was an influence on our decision to make the move.

So I feel your pain! It always helped to have a vacation to look forward to. Even something small helped break up the long winter.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: DrJohn on December 08, 2012, 06:47:19 PM
Chocolate and snowshoes.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: RitaRose1945 on December 08, 2012, 09:10:57 PM
Coming in late to the discussion, but seconding (3rding? 4thing?) supplementing with Vitamin D.

I work outside in the desert all day, so I get more than my share of sun - sometimes as much as 10 solid hours with no sunscreen in the summer.  But The Boyfriend works indoors or at night, so he might not feel the sun on his skin for weeks.  When the days started getting noticeably shorter about a month ago, I talked him into taking some D and the difference was obvious within just a few days.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: scooter on December 10, 2012, 12:50:03 AM
I don't know about other people, but I get SAD and when I take multivitamins and amino acids, I notice I do a lot better. Also getting enough sleep is important for me. My sleep cycle is different than most people's, and if I don't get enough sleep it messes with me pretty bad. I also do container gardening in my house with grow lights. I figured that can't hurt either  :)
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Samuel Fairlane on December 10, 2012, 01:09:51 AM
For the last 3 years we have taken a winter vacation. Going back to Rotan in Feb 2013  ;D ;D. Off season is cheaper, and taking a break from winter is nice. I work night shift half the year also, and get grumpy. I got a mixed bulb tanning bed and jump in it about once a week.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Cool Blue on January 03, 2013, 06:26:17 PM
I've noticed this year that my winter blues are a lot better despite now working in an office with no windows.  I think the vitamin Ds are helping but I also wonder if the new LED lights that I switched some of my CFLs for are helping.  They're a much whiter light and supposedly closer to real sunlight.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Burton on January 03, 2013, 06:43:16 PM
here is my $0.02

D3, and B Complex supplements:
  The D3 you would normally get from sun exposure to your skin, specifically your face, and the B will give you energy to boot.

The full spectrum lights do seem to perk me up a bit when I use them, and I have them all over the house. They also make things look brighter and well ... more true to color.

Another big one is exercise, habitual exercise is the best to get your mood into the positive. Simply waking up 30 minutes early each morning and going full bore before your first shower of the day will make everything to follow better. Try it and you will see what I mean.

Lastly eating right. If you keep to foods which give you energy and don't make you feel weighted down, figuratively and literally, you will be better off any season and fight off colds and infections before they happen.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: leejones77380 on January 13, 2013, 08:24:38 PM
My daughter moved from Texas to Michigan and was having symptoms of SAD, but didn't know exactly what was going on so she went to the doctor.  Her two options were the light or meds to help her sleep and for depression.  She nixed the second and opted for the light and has had really good results with it so far.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Adam B. on January 14, 2013, 02:49:44 PM
I would say being in a really great relationship that started this summer has been a nice boost to SAD this winter. I have gone skiing twice so far (once downhill and once cross country when we got a huge snow dump one weekend).

I can say that this winter has been MUCH better than the previous one, in spite of new challenges etc. Landing a new job and being able to take a nice vacation right after Thanksgiving was a nice boost as well.

I have yet to invest in one of those SAD lights, but if I ever see a reasonably priced one I may. I did get an inversion table to help with stretching the lower back and that has been very good. I don't get NEARLY enough exercise when it is cold out and have a very hard time even finding the time to get more than one day a week's worth until it is warm out. Then I am the opposite (getting one or two days of rest per week).

Compared to last year I am way ahead of the winter depression, and compared to the year before that light years ahead...
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: AlaskaGrover on January 16, 2013, 05:03:34 PM
I live in Alaska... Winter starts early and hangs on and on and on... this week  Sun up at 9:56 and down by 16:34.  The best solution I have found for S.A.D. is to get out and get that sun, however brief, on your skin.  Let your body see and feel the sun EVERY day!  I know that those who are at a higher latitude have a period of time when there is no sun at all, but if the sun is up where you are, spend some time out in it.  Also remember to take those Vit D supplements to keep your energy up. 
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Dainty on December 20, 2013, 04:05:12 PM
I found this article  (http://www.thebodyblues.com/light.html)really helpful for explaining the basics.

Lately I find myself "craving light" in a similar fashion as one might crave food, so it's triggered a plethora of research on the subject. For now the only purchase I've made is a cool white 15w LED bulb at 1100 lumens for $16. If that hits the spot I'll gradually acquire more as budget allows.

For those who want a lightbox, Googling "DIY lightbox" brings up plenty of results.

Personally, I've always been more interested in dawn/dusk simulators, the kind you program and plug into your own lamp(s). Price has always kept me away, though.

I haven't been diagnosed with SAD, but it seems common sense to be aware of these potential factors and ready to address them if needed, just like vitamin deficiency. I've been feeling like I need more light for weeks now, but only when I researched it did I realize "oh, y'know, I should probably take this seriously." :P It's more than just being uncomfortable - it's an indication your body isn't physiologically getting what it needs for optimal health.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Pearl S on October 04, 2017, 06:57:29 PM
Old thread, but still interesting. :)
For complex reasons I'm living in a rental that is DARK, me and my mom are both sun lovers, and it was going to make us crazy over the winter. By the windows in our main rooms I took some of the curtains and pulled them over the wall or corner, and put a 4 foot florescent light fixture hanging on the wall tall-ways so it was right by the window, but under the curtain (fairly thin curtains.) I put the lights on timers, so when you get up in the morning, it looks like the sun is up and shining in part of the window. It's a nice fake, and makes it psychologically less dark. Just regular bulbs, it's just to help your mental attitude, not to be a "sunlamp."

In our main living room space, I put a grow light up high, added mirrors to the walls by it, and my plants love it and it adds psychological sun space to the room. Grow light is also on a timer. The dawn/dusk simulators are nice, but expensive, cheap timers just go on and off, but I don't find that a deal breaker. Dawn breaks rather spectacularly in this house in winter!

Vit D, Fish oil (Carlson lemon flavored doesn't taste fishy) and limiting sugars and starches all help us a lot.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: Carl on October 05, 2017, 08:22:09 AM
  This is related to another thread as my BOL caused a similar effect due to it's location and I tried a few things to effect a 'cure'.
I run CFL 'FULL SPECTRUM' bulbs in the common area near the exercise equipment and have set house lights to go from sleep mode to day mode with a timer. Also a device that plays the sound of a stream with frogs and crickets during sleep mode moves to a music loop or 'radio' mode to play local talk radio station with news/traffic/ and wx reporting during day ...or I can turn on the entertainment system to my choice as it is all PC based.

  The lights and sounds of day and night helped me stay on a better schedule as without those my sleep and wake periods lost sync with the world and I often slept 16 hours or sometime just 3 and day work suffered in the same manner without visual and audible cues . Maybe a look into how astronaughts stay in sync with the many day-night orbits ...they likely have notable problems with this too?

http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=61077.msg727180#msg727180

Full spectrum CFL  $8:
https://www.amazon.com/ALZO-Joyous-Spectrum-Lumens-Daylight/dp/B004EKOIB4/ref=sr_1_16?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1507212070&sr=1-16&keywords=full+spectrum+light+bulbs
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: David in MN on October 05, 2017, 09:05:11 AM
We painted the entry landing a bright glossy gold color. Along with the lights it makes a difference to see bright color. Winter here means gray and white. No sun, no color.

The Dutch use fake wooden tulips to decorate their shops. I've thought about building a couple tiny planters and putting those by the door.
Title: Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
Post by: LvsChant on October 05, 2017, 10:44:00 AM
Glad to have you here, Pearl... it is no problem reviving old threads... so many of them have really great information.