Seasonal Affective Disorder is believed to be a condition, which has a variety of symptoms. The common element between sufferers is that they are worse affected in the winter, when the daylight hours are shorter.
The most common symptoms are those of depression, tiredness and lethargy, increased appetite and weight gain, with a particular craving for carbohydrates. There is frequently an associated inability to concentrate, which can lead to problems at work and feelings of frustration and despair.
It can affect more women than men and tends to affect the mid 30's age group more. Some people are more sensitive to changes in light than others. A typical sufferer can find the white light of cloudy skies less comfortable than a sunny day, and may need sunglasses in the winter to cope with these unusual light sources.
A part of the brain, the Pineal gland is thought to be sensitive to light in animals and it is this that controls hormone release relating to reproduction and preparing the body for producing offspring at the right time of the year. Man has lost this natural alarm call as we now reproduce at any time of the year with no restrictions on us regarding climate or good available food sources.
Useful treatment of this condition has found to be with the use of special bright light sources designed to reproduce the powers of sunlight. It involves looking at the light source for anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours a day. It is also possible to gain some benefit from using 'day light' bulbs now available from most good electrical suppliers, particularly in the rooms of the house where you spend most time.
Details of Bright Light Therapy Boxes may be found on the Internet or your local electrical supplier or health store, or family doctor may be able to help you.
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