These steps can help you manage seasonal affective disorder:
Sept. 12, 2014
- Stick to your treatment plan. Take medications as directed and attend therapy appointments as scheduled.
- Take care of yourself. Get enough rest and take time to relax. Participate in an exercise program or engage in another form of regular physical activity. Make healthy choices for meals and snacks. Don't turn to alcohol or illegal drugs for relief.
- Practice stress management. Learn techniques to manage your stress better. Unmanaged stress can lead to depression, overeating, or other unhealthy thoughts and behaviors.
- Socialize. When you're feeling down, it can be hard to be social. Make an effort to connect with people you enjoy being around. They can offer support, a shoulder to cry on or a joke to give you a little boost.
- Take a trip. If possible, take winter vacations in sunny, warm locations if you have winter SAD or to cooler locations if you have summer SAD.
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- Specifiers for depressive disorders: With seasonal pattern. In: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5. 5th ed. Arlington, Va.: American Psychiatric Association; 2013. http://www.psychiatryonline.org. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Seasonal affective disorder. National Alliance on Mental Illness. http://www.nami.org/Template.cfm?Section=By_Illness&Template=/ContentManagement/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=23051. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Seasonal-affective disorder. American Psychiatric Association. http://www.psychiatry.org/seasonal-affective-disorder. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
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- Melatonin. Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. http://www.naturaldatabase. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Depression. National Institute of Mental Health. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/index.shtml. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Ravindran AV, et al. Complementary and alternative therapies as add-on to pharmacotherapy for mood and anxiety disorders: A systematic review. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2013;150:707.
- Stress and relaxation techniques. NCCAM Clinical Digest. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/relaxation.htm. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Massage therapy for health purposes. NCCAM Clinical Digest. http://nccam.nih.gov/health/providers/digest/massage. Accessed Aug. 13, 2014.
- Kung S (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 29, 2014.