Sunday, December 15, 2013




 

 Are you feeling “SAD?” 

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression. It occurs during late autumn, winter seasons, and holidays. People who live in places with long winter nights have risk for SAD.Symptoms begin during teenage years, adulthood, or older age. It’s more common in women than men. A less common form might occur during summer. 

Typical signs include depression, hopelessness, increased appetite, weight gain, and increased sleep. Other symptoms include lack of energy, poor concentration, and loss of interest in work, social withdrawal, and irritability. There is no diagnostic test for this disorder. However, a physical examination and blood tests could be helpful to rule out other medical conditions that mimic SAD.

Effective treatment includes antidepressant medicines, light therapy, and psychological counselling.
Self-management techniques include getting enough sleep, increased social interactions, and participating in fulfilling activities, including exercise.Alcohol and illegal street drugs are not helpful. These substances could worsen depression and alter judgment, which may increase suicide risk. Sharing conversation with friends and family members and volunteering for group activities could be helpful.  

Light therapy, using a special lamp that mimics sunlight, eases symptoms. It should be started in early fall or winter for maximum benefit. The light source should be positioned several feet away from the body. Approximately thirty minutes daily in in the mornings is helpful. Depression symptoms improve within three to four weeks in most cases. Light therapy side effects could include eye strain and headache. However, these are rare. 

Some prescription medicines could increase light sensitivity of the skin. These include psoriasis drugs, antibiotics, and antipsychotics. A physician should review all medicines before starting light therapy. In addition, an eye exam is recommended. There is good news regarding SAD. Symptoms can improve with no treatment during season change.

  Light therapy box

 


Questions or comments? Contact Dr. Clem at clementhanson.blogspot.com

A man was suffering from impotence, so he went to see a specialist. The doctor gave him a prescription that he was to take three times a day with food. A couple of days later, the man was at a formal banquet and didn't want any of the other guests to spot and identify his pink and purple capsule. He instructed the waiter to empty the capsule into his soup, thinking he could eat his soup with everyone else, take his medication, and preserve his privacy.  However, when the soup was served everyone received a bowl of it, but the man, who felt conspicuous, was angry. He confronted the waiter and asked why he hadn’t been served his 'special' soup.

"Sir, I poured your medication into your bowl as instructed. Since then, I have been waiting for the noodles to lie down."