As shared by Pennsylvania Psychologist Dr. Charles L. Zeiders (www.drzeiders.com)
Seasonal Affective Disorder is ubiquitous in the late fall and winter.
Patients in my psychology practice tend to experience depressive symptoms such as blue mood, lack of pleasure, eating problems, sleep problems, low energy, and problems concentrating.
Intellectual and behavioral treatments for seasonal depressive symptoms are similar to normal depressive symptoms. Cognitive restructuring or learning to assess one’s life in terms of a positive view of self, world, and others is essential to overcoming mood symptoms.
Modification in behavior is essential, too. Patients must keep a schedule of essential work activities so that mood symptoms do not drown their productivity. But patients must also formally schedule pleasurable activity. Findings of Cognitive Behaviorists are such that depressive symptoms tend to relent in the face of fascination, joy, and pleasure. So treatment protocols recommend aggressive scheduling of activities likely to induce such affects. Quite simply it is therapeutic to have a blast.
In my own practice I find that patients tend to improve quickly when exercise and diet are addressed. Many patients find that when they resume regular aerobic exercise (4 to 5 times per week for 20 to 40 minutes) they experience an upsurge in antidepressant therapeutics. Further, when patients cut or abandon high consumption levels of alcohol, caffeine, and sugar they synergize the therapeutic effects of exercise and feel even better.
Several patients enjoy treating their season affective problems with nutritional medicine. Conjointly with a physician psychotherapy can support supplementation with L-Tryptophan, Vitamin D, or Melatonin. Doses and protocols would be determined by the physician.
Additional medical treatments for winter depression include light therapy and antidepressant medication.
With intellectual, behavioral, and medical interventions, most patients with seasonal mood issues will experience a resurgence of energy and a new lease on life- even in the winter.
Dr. Zeiders can be reached for private consultation at
Christian Counseling and Therapy
Associates of the Main Line
86 West Eagle Road
Havertown, PA 19083
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