Day: June 23, 2017

When it Doesn’t go Away

I love spicy food—in a restaurant or made at home. It keeps away depression and anxiety. It peps you up and gives you energy to meet the needs of your active day. It is said that spices in certain combination help you lose weight when normal diets aren’t working. I can’t be more positive about it. However, now that we have made it through winter, I must say that it has been a tough season. I experienced a bout of winter blues that I couldn’t shake no matter what I ate. I hear this is common in certain parts of the world and certain climates where daylight is at a minimum. Why me? I don’t know, but I went to my doctor to see what was wrong. He did a mental and physical assessment and ruled out an overactive thyroid.

After discussing how often I felt depressed, he considered the condition known as SAD—seasonal affective disorder. He felt that nothing had changed in my life and I hadn’t experienced any tragedies or upsetting events. My winter blues did not seem to have an identifiable cause. Hence the SAD diagnosis. I started to research the subject. It is a common ailment in Sweden, Finland, and Norway. It is said to exist in Iceland, Greenland, and Denmark. The statistics are high in Alaska and low in Florida, as you can imagine. Studies have been conducted there to decipher the cause and determine a treatment. Of course, it is not surprising that reduced daylight hours are the culprit. Many people are sensitive to the lack of light inn winter, and this could explain my problem. If you are lucky, the condition will go away in time. If not, the situation is more serious based on what I read at Be Right Light. Most of the time, however, it can be treated with artificial light. You buy a lamp that you use when it is dark outside and you can put it in any room of the house or your office according to where you spend the most time – you can get advice from Be Right Light’s Facebook Page if you have any doubts. It is said that sitting in front of it for a pre-determined number of hours will set your body clock right. But never use a tanning lamp.

Not having a serious case, where therapy is added to the treatment, I felt the light would be enough. If you want to practice self-diagnosis, consider the following symptoms: sadness, grumpiness, feeling moody or anxious. The signs are like depression: you lose interest in work or play, you gain weight as you binge on comfort food, and you sleep excessively. Many can’t concentrate for a long period of time. I suppose if it gets really bad, you can move to Arizona. In any case, you need to regulate your serotonin levels that affect the mood center of the brain. The good news is that as people age, they are less susceptible to SAD. In the interim, you can learn how to reset your biological clock.