The things we tell ourselves can help or hinder our efforts to make lasting changes. — SETH J. GILLIHAN, PHD
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a psychological illness that people tend to acquire when the seasons change. Professionals believe that the disease develops due to the gloomy weather and the fact that clouds usually cover the sun. As it is a form of depression, you can also expect the patient to experience bouts of helplessness, apathy, unexplainable exhaustion, and hopelessness.
According to surveys, approximately five percent of the American population deals with SAD on a yearly basis. That’s over 150,000 people – a significant quantity that should allow truths about the disease to come out, frankly speaking. Despite that, the patients with this illness still face misunderstandings after getting diagnosed with the disease.
To offer you more insight, here are some ideas about Seasonal Affective Disorder that aren’t true.
- SAD Is Not A Real Illness
The first myth that’s been going around for ages pertains to the notion that it’s a make-believe disorder and that the folks who are going through it have an existing depression. They merely have the “winter blues,” as people call it. This idea came to light as researchers from Auburn University revealed the sun exposure and location have nothing to do with the depressive episodes that their respondents experience during the changing of the seasons.
Although that sounds legitimate, SAD can go on for months and isn’t just curable with exercise and a different sleeping pattern. You’ll most likely need therapy to overcome it; that’s why it’s wrong to claim that it’s unreal until all indications say so.
As she thought more about it, she realized that she had usually felt pretty depressed as the winter went on and would feel better as the spring started. — John Cline Ph.D.
- Only Women Experience It
The majority of the patients who receive a diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder belong to the female population. While that is a fact, it isn’t true that only women feel blue when seasons change. In reality, some men go to psychiatrists at such times, thinking that they need help for clinical depression. But then the results show that they have SAD instead.
The thing about most disorders is that they don’t choose the affected people based on sex, age, and race. Everyone beyond their 30s is prone to acquiring this particular condition as the hormones that make you dynamic begins to decline around that age. Nonetheless, even children or young adults may also develop Seasonal Affective Disorder.
- There’s No Treatment For SAD
It is dismaying to hear that some patients go through the illness without seeing a therapist as they assume that there’s nothing the latter can do to help. That thought can never be real because there are treatments available for SAD.
The most recognized one is the light therapy. The professional will subject the patient to a fluorescent light that’s much brighter compared to other lightings. According to studies, it can improve the mood and disposition of the person significantly.
There’s also psychotherapy wherein the counselor aims to teach the individual to identify their issues and manage it well. It’s more on conversing, and it may allow the patient not to feel lonely.
You can combine both treatments and even get medication in case a single therapy isn’t enough.
What the world needs is for all of us to accept and love ourselves, despite our limitations and difficulties. — Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC