Author Topic: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?  (Read 17999 times)

Offline Optix

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #30 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. 

Offline Emme

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #31 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 :)

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #32 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.
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Offline Emme

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #33 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 :)

Offline busymomx3

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #34 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.
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Offline Kayakmom

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #35 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.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2012, 06:47:19 PM »
Chocolate and snowshoes.
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Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #37 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.

Offline scooter

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #38 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  :)

Offline Samuel Fairlane

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #39 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.

Offline Cool Blue

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #40 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.
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Offline Burton

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #41 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.

Offline leejones77380

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #42 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.

Offline Adam B.

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #43 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...
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Offline AlaskaGrover

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #44 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. 

Offline Dainty

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2013, 04:05:12 PM »
I found this article 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.
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Offline Pearl S

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #46 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.

Online Carl

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #47 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
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Online David in MN

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #48 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.
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Offline LvsChant

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Re: Seasonal Affective Disorder what helps you?
« Reply #49 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.