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Coping with Depression
 by Dr. Robert Buri

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
by Dr. Robert Buri

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Coping with Stress
 by Dr. Robert Buri
Syptoms of Depression
 by Dr. Robert Buri

Treatment for seasonal affective disorder may include light therapy, medications and psychotherapy. In light therapy, also called phototherapy, you sit a few feet from a special light therapy box so that you're exposed to bright light. Light therapy mimics natural outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood.

Light therapy: Light therapy is one of the first line treatments for fall-onset SAD. It generally starts working in a few days to two weeks and causes few side effects. Research on light therapy is limited, but it appears to be effective for most people in relieving SAD symptoms.

Medication: Some people with SAD benefit from antidepressant treatment, especially if symptoms are severe. Your doctor may recommend starting treatment with an antidepressant before your symptoms typically begin each year. You may have to try different medications before you find one that works well for you and has the fewest side effects.

Counseling: Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is another option to treat SAD. Psychotherapy can help you identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may be making you feel worse, learn healthy ways to cope with SAD and learn how to manage stress.

In addition to the above treatments, try the following healthy lifestyle options:
Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds and sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
Get outside. Take a walk or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help.  
Exercise regularly. Exercise and other types of physical activity help relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase SAD symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, which can lift your mood. 
Take care of yourself. Get enough rest and take time to relax. Participate in an exercise program or engage in another form of regular physical activity. Make healthy choices for meals and snacks. Don't turn to alcohol or illegal drugs for relief.
Practice stress management. Learn techniques to manage your stress better. Unmanaged stress can lead to depression, overeating, or other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
Socialize. When you're feeling down, it can be hard to be social. Make an effort to connect with people you enjoy being around. 
Take a trip. If possible, take winter vacations in sunny, warm locations if you have SAD.  

It's normal to have some down days occasionally. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor or psychologist/counselor. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless, think about suicide, or turn to alcohol or drugs for comfort or relaxation.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
by Dr. Robert Buri
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes
 called winter depression, may include:
Feeling tired or having low energy
Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
Feeling sluggish or agitated
Having difficulty concentrating
Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
Feeling hopeless or worthless
Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
Having thoughts of death or suicide
Risk factors that may increase your chance of seasonal affective disorder include:
Being female. SAD is diagnosed more often in women than in men, but men may have more severe symptoms.
Age. Young people have a higher risk of winter SAD, and winter SAD is less likely to occur in older adults.
Family history. People with SAD may be more likely to have blood relatives with SAD or another form of depression.
Having clinical depression or bipolar disorder. Symptoms of depression may worsen seasonally if you have one of these conditions.
Living far from the equator. SAD appears to be more common among people who live far north or south of the equator. This may be due to decreased sunlight during the winter and longer days during the summer months.