Learn how not to end up a SAD sack as daylight becomes more scarceNote: These Web sites are not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a physician.
Based in England, the SAD Association sells information packs on SAD treatments. The packs describe where to obtain light therapy equipment, how to use it and how to find support groups. The Web site lists the cause ― “a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus [a region of the brain that regulates hormone secretion] due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter” ― and treatments. The two major ones are light therapy and anti-depressants.
This Web site describes the causes of SAD in detail, referencing a host of studies. A references section, lists journals and books on the subject. The site also has a list of recommended light devices to combat SAD.
According to this Web site, the disorder is more common in women than men, and although children and teenagers do suffer from SAD, the disorder is not common among people younger than 20. The 20s are the highest-risk period for SAD, and risk decreases with age.
Common symptoms are a change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods, weight gain, a heavy feeling in the arms or legs, irritability and a tendency to oversleep.
This Web site focuses on light therapy. Click on “Light Therapy Devices” for photos, illustrations and treatment explanations.
Light treatment options include light boxes, portable light visors and dawn simulators. There is also a section on recommended SAD books.
This site lists books on SAD. The offerings are divided into popular/nontechnical and academic/professional. Listed is “The Depression Workbook,” a self-help guide for SAD sufferers.
by Joe Yong-hee