January 6, 2009

Publication: Dungarvan Observer

Date: Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Page: 19 Extract: 1 of 1

Author: Headline: SAD 


Seasonal mood variations are believed to be related to light. An argument for this view is the effectiveness of bright light therapy. SAD is measurably present at latitudes in the Arctic region, such as Finland (64° 00'N) where the rate of SAD is 9.5%. Cloud cover may contribute to the negative effects of SAD. One possibility is that SAD is related to lack of serotonin production. Another theory is that the cause may be related to melatonin, which is produced in dim light and darkness by the pineal gland.

SAD can be a serious disorder and may require hospitalisation. There is also potential risk of suicide in some patients experiencing SAD. One study reports 6-35% of sufferers required hospitalisation during one period of ill-ness. The symptoms of SAD mimic those of dysthymia or clinical depression. At times, patients may not feel depressed, but rather lack energy to perform everyday activities.

Norman Rosenthal, a pioneer in SAD research, has estimated that the prevalence of SAD in the adult United States population is between about 1.5 percent in Florida and about 9 percent in the northern US. Subsyndromal Seasonal Affective Disorder (SSAD) is a milder form of SAD experienced by an estimated 14.3% vs. 6.1% of the U.S. population. The blue feeling experienced by both SsAD and SAD sufferers can usually be dampened or extinguished by exercise and increased outdoor activity, particularly on sunny days, resultting in increased solar expossure.

Connections betwe;en human mood, as well as eneergy levels, and the seasons are well documented, even in healthy individuals. SSIRI (selective serotonin uptake inhibitor) antidepressaants have proven effective im treating SAD. Holistic therapies: Energy Healing and IET (Integrated Energy Therapy) can also help release and heal the negative iimpact of SAD.

Be proactive, don't let SAD get you down this winter!

Regina Morrissey; (R.G.MR.P.N/Dip. Remedial Massage/Diploma Energy Healing/IET)