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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is more common knowledge than ever before. In fact, before mental health became a trending topic over the last couple years, SAD was a concept that most people accepted — even at it’s basest alias of “winter blues.” So it’s only natural that the methods to alleviate the symptoms have become just as sophisticated as people’s understanding of this seasonal issue.For those who are unsure exactly what the symptoms are, CAMH has listed them out, comparing them to those accompanying major depression. The key difference being that with SAD, these signs and symptoms appear and disappear at about the same time each year.

The main symptom is a sad, despairing mood that

  •                                 – is present most days and lasts most of the day
  •                                 – lasts for more than two weeks
  •                                 – impairs performance at work, school or in social relationships.

Other symptoms of depression include:

  •                                 – changes in appetite and weight
  •                                 – sleep problems
  •                                 – loss of interest in work, hobbies, people or sex
  •                                 – withdrawal from family members and friends
  •                                 – feeling useless, hopeless, excessively guilty, pessimistic or low self-esteem
  •                                 – agitation or feeling slowed down
  •                                 – irritability
  •                                 – fatigue
  •                                 – trouble concentrating, remembering and making decisions
  •                                 – crying easily or feeling like crying but not being able to
  •                                 – thoughts of suicide (which should always be taken seriously)
  •                                 – a loss of touch with reality, hallucinations or delusions.

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If you have felt these in the past, or simply want to avoid the possibility of feeling them, you can try light therapy, which is the first cause of action put forth by CAMH, while Psychology Today suggests a combination of “antidepressant medication, light therapy, Vitamin D, and counselling.”

As a generally cheerful individual, I can attest to extra Vitamin D and a bit of therapy to help get you through the darker months Last year, however, I finally started experimenting with light therapy after a consecutive year of feeling unusually down and it made a world of difference. This year, I’m excited to step it up with the Philips goLITE BLU Energy Light

Many people who have SAD are helped by exposure to bright artificial light.

It’s compact design impressively mimics a sunny blue sky, acting as a natural energizer that requires no more than 20 to 30 minutes a day to be effective. The best part is you can turn it on while reading, working or doing anything that keeps you directly in its sight for that short time period. It can also be easily taken along on trips thanks to its convenient size and protective pouch.

For those who might doubt the effectiveness of the Philips goLite BLU Energy Light, it not only has the backing of over a century of brand know-how and independent research, it also boasts specifics that all point to a thoughtfully created tool including a 100% UV free light for safe use. This winter will definitely not be getting the best of me this time.