Say So Long to SAD

What you need to know

At Starting Point Acupuncture & Wellness, we commonly treat people for symptoms of SAD, using an integrated and individual approach to care. Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to see how we can help.

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a condition believed to be linked to a lack of sunlight where the individual experiences mood changes and emotions similar to depression. SAD occurs mostly in the Fall and Winter months when there is less sunlight exposure, more common in the PNW.

It’s found that around 5 percent of people may experience SAD lasting 40% of the year (especially in areas with less sunlight such as the Pacific Northwest and other Northern regions), and it is more common in women than in men.

SYMPTOMS OF SAD

The most common symptom of SAD is a feeling of sadness or a depressed mood. Other symptoms may include any of the following:

  changes in appetite

  cravings for sweet & starchy foods

  fatigue and low energy

  depression/low mood

  social withdrawal

  decreased libido

  aches and pains

  irritation

  Increased restlessness (such as pacing)

  difficulty focusing

Symptoms vary from person to person, but they can be severe enough to disrupt daily life. While SAD can be a frustrating condition, there are treatments and coping techniques available.

Seasonal Affective Disorder treatments

Here are some general guidelines that can help structure the treatments:

● Keep treatments simple by addressing the root of the disorder instead of treating symptoms.

● Begin treatment at any time; however, the summer is ideal. By doing so, there is a good chance the practitioner can break up the cyclic pattern of symptoms so that they are reduced or even eliminated before the problematic seasons arrive.

 

Other ways to help SAD:


Light therapy: This involves daily exposure to a full-spectrum light that duplicates natural sunlight. When used regularly throughout the winter months, light therapy has been shown to reduce symptoms in 70 percent of SAD sufferers. Please note that light therapy is different than tanning in a tanning bed.

Psychotherapy: Working with a counselor to learn to navigate negative thoughts and behaviors can be beneficial.

Exercise: As a natural antidepressant, exercise may alleviate some of the symptoms of SAD. Try swimming, biking, lifting weights, yoga, or just walking outside.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture has been proven in many studies to boost energy, curb depression, reduce stress, and fight inflammation. Acupuncture also works the best as preventative treatment so get in now before SAD season begins for PREVENTION of SAD symptoms!

Medication: Antidepressant medications are a common treatment, but it should be noted that these medications often have side effects. There are also many natural and effective approaches available to combat SAD if over-the-counter medications aren’t something you want to start with.

Don’t forget about diet! Using food as medicine is key for fighting SAD symptoms as well as curbing any anxiety or depression.

At Starting Point Acupuncture & Wellness, we commonly treat people for symptoms of SAD, using an integrated and individual approach to care. Give our office a call today at (425) 686-4498 to schedule your initial consultation to see how we can help.


Sources:

Uptodate.com

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438823/

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Call or Schedule Now!

(425) 686-4498

Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc

  • Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
    Bastyr University
  • Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
    Bastyr University
  • Master’s Degree in Chemistry
    Northern Arizona University
Dr. Heintze Acupuncturist and Naturopathic Doctor

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