Are You Seasonally Sad? 10 Ways to Know!

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Seasonal Affective Disorder is Not Just a Winter Sport!

♫ ♬ ♪ If your happy and you know it clap your hands…Clap Clap…..If your happy and you know it clap your hands….Clap Clap……If your happy and you know it then your face will surely show it.   If your happy and you know it clap your hands…Clap Clap! ♪ ♫ ♬[1]   What is the opposite of happy?  That’s right!!  SAD.  But, I’m not here to talk about your feelings.  I am here to discuss a far more concerning topic when it comes to the word S.A.D..
What is S.A.D?  The acronym S.A.D. stands for seasonal affective disorder.  “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also know as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summertime sadness, or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder subset where people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the summer or winter.”[2]  The acronym SAD was coined in a brilliant decade, the 80’s, by an MD named Normal Rosenthal.  His early publication on the DIS-EASE gave the acronym SAD quick notoriety in the allopathic world.  He was able to treat the DIS-EASE simply with light therapy!!  In that study, it was concluded that light helped brain wave frequencies to shift gears into delta brain waves, or deep sleep waves. This proved to reduce SAD symptoms!  [Click to Tweet]
Fortunately, I do not suffer from SAD.    I have caught cabin fever a time or two, but have come through it pretty quickly.   Unfortunately though, I do have many patients who suffer from seasonal effects on their neurological systems and their biochemistry.  In fact, SAD affects around 14 million Americans, according to author and SAD specialist Norman Rosenthal, M.D., in his book Winter Blues.[3] People can experience a variety of symptoms associated with SAD.   According to Emily Lockhart,[4] signs may include the following:
  1. Disabling Fatigue
  2. Withdrawal from life
  3. Lack of focus
  4. Sleep Difficulties
  5. Disheartened and Deflated
  6. Muscles and Joint Pain
  7. Irritability
  8. Weight and Appetite
  9. Anxiety
  10. Recklessness
One of the main treatments used is light therapy to help balance the seasonal effects of the disorder.  Many theories exist on why light therapy may help.  What we do know is that light works on the pineal gland of the central nervous system.  Sun-gazing is one way to getting the light needed to help combat the winter or summer blues.   This is an unfamiliar ancient technique according to EarthClinic.[5] Sun gazing, a practice also know as sun eating, is a strict regiment of gradually allowing sunlight into your eyes at specific periods of the day.  [Click to Tweet]  Now don’t take this as an excuse to stare at the sun.  This can actually be harmful to the retina of the eye and cause permanent damage.  This practice must be taught by a competent practitioner to assure you do not damage these sensitive organs.
Proper nutrition and supplementation can also help boost the mood in the winter and hot summer months.   I have found with my patients that Vitamin D is also an excellent vitamin of choice when staving off the seasonal blues.  Consult you primary care doctor for any further recommendations.
Everyone has good and bad days and most are not caused by seasonal affective disorder.  So next time you get to feeling down in the summer or winter months, remember that, “You can’t enjoy a sunny day without a rainy day”[6]
What do you do for the rainy day blues?
Dr. Andrew Kender, D.C.
June 24, 2015
To Schedule a Free Consultation on What You Can Do for Your S.A.D., click here.
Functional Endocrinology of Ohio
Akron: 2800 S. Arlington Road, Akron, Ohio 44312 (330) 644-5488
Cleveland: 6200 Rockside Woods Blvd., Ste. 100, Independence, Ohio 44131 (216) 236-0060
Dr. Keith S. Ungar, Dr. David Starkey and Dr. Andrew Kender, Chiropractic Physicians

[1] Credited to Dr. Alfred B. Smith
[2] Ivry, Sara (August 13, 2002). Seasonal Depression can Accompany Summer Sun. The New York Times. Retrieved September 6, 2008
[3]…/are you sad this winter
[6] -Anonymous

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