Experts Predict Higher Incidence/Greater Severity of SAD This Winter
The COVID-19 pandemic, with its resulting health concerns, economic stress, and enforced isolation, has led some researchers to believe that instances of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, are likely to increase in number and severity during the upcoming winter months.
SAD is a form of depression that some people get during the late fall and winter, typically as days become shorter and nights longer. Fewer hours of sunlight between November and April have been shown to trigger a drop in the brain chemicals that regulate mood, especially serotonin.
During the pandemic, public health measures necessary to protect ourselves and one another involve isolation, taking away some of the typical things we do at this time of year to keep our moods stable and spirits high. More people have been diagnosed with depression over the past six months, and the experts are expecting the month of November to bring a spike in cases of SAD.
Clinical psychologists are saying the reason that Seasonal Affective Disorder could hit particularly hard this year may be connected to the months of social distancing and limited contact with family or large groups of people we have already had to do during 2020. In addition, many people will be less likely to get outdoors this winter in many parts of the country due to falling temperatures, limiting their exposure to natural sunlight.
Mental health experts suggest that those who are prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder or even just the “winter blues” take time now to get familiar with the primary treatment for the disorder, light therapy.
First found to be clinically effective against the symptoms of SAD in the 1980s, light therapy remains the primary treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder. High-quality light therapy lamps, especially those made in the USA by the SunBox Company, work by emitting full-spectrum, non-UV light that mimics natural sunlight. Exposure to 10,000 lux for only 30 minutes of light therapy has been shown to result in significant improvement in mood by researchers from around the world, including the National Institutes of Health,University of Maryland, and Harvard School of Medicine.
Now is the time to prepare for a tough season. With the coronavirus weighing on our minds and altering our habits, SAD could be worse this winter—but it doesn’t have to be. Browse the many models and styles of lightboxes The Sunbox Company makes to find a light therapy solution that will help you cope with SAD this winter!