For the last few months, people in my office have been complaining of feeling not so great. They are not sleeping well, feeling blue and have less energy than normal. They complain of cold weather and longer darkness. Does this sound like you? You may have Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Often, people are not able to give a good reason why they don’t feel happy. They say there has been no precipitating factor or event that led up to it. What’s going on? Perhaps it can be explained beyond holiday credit card bills, cold weather and Christmas / Hanukkah family drama or drinking too much.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a diagnosable illness and has the following characteristics:
• Sadness or irritability
• Low energy
• Appetite or sleep changes
• Similar symptoms for at least two (usually) winters
• Weight gain
• A close relative has had S.A.D.
Antidepressants, exercise, melatonin, counseling and “light therapy” can help. Light therapy is done with a bright light in a trained professional’s office and has been proven to help.
So, if you think you have any of the symptoms listed above, we’re here to help. Please call Becker Counseling at 732.406.4422 to make an appointment.