This is the time of year that it starts to kick in... Seasonal Affected Disorder. Often times if you have it you can hold off the worst of the symptoms by being busy with the upcoming holidays but come January you will really bottom out if you're not doing something to help yourself.
S.A.D. , for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, is thought to be a left over semi-hibernation reflex in people of northern European ancestry whose ancestors lived through the ice ages. Lack of sunlight exposure every day lowers serotonin levels and we seek to replenish the supply. Carbohydrates increase serotonin levels and over the thousands of years that the ice age took to pass our bodies were programmed to eat stored grains in the fall and winter, hunker down close to the fire and doze away the long winters. Gruels made from grains were a sure thing. Taking a chance on a hunt that expended lots of energy and may not produce a kill could lead to starvation.
When I was diagnosed with this condition one fall, my doctor asked me if I just didn't want to eat a big bowl of pasta and take a long nap. I was like... "Wow! YOU get it!" She explained that she had S.A.D. herself and all too well understood the feelings. She prescribed four hours of a S.A.D. light per day until I started feeling better. That first winter that I used my light I had enough energy to rip out the carpeting in the bathroom, tear out the rotted floor to the joists and put down a new ceramic tile floor! I was in a lot of pain and just kept going because this was before my fibro dx and I didn't know any better. It took me almost three months to do all of the work because of my pain levels, but I didn't get tired!
You don't have to have a dx from a doctor to buy a S.A.D. light on eBay. They are a bit pricey, but for me that light is a real life saver! I now use it about
two hours a day in the bakery while I work. I also have a small desktop light my office that is aimed right at my face so it hits my retinas. The secret to overcoming S.A.D. is to get enough "sunlight" to the retina to trigger the pituitary into thinking it's still summer. I need to use the special broad spectrum lights that imitate sunlight to keep my sanity.
If you can't afford a light right now, keeping the drapes
open, walking for about
15 minutes outside on every sunny day you can get, facing your desk toward the window, and, if your food plan allows it, eating a few more carbs every day will definitely help.
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much. ~Mother Teresa "People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in
, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
Post Edited (Jeannie143) : 10/16/2008 11:00:52 AM (GMT-6)