SAD and Don't Know Why?

Treating seasonal affective disorder

(HealthDayNews) -- The days are short, the nights long and you're feeling blue. No matter how many hours you sleep, you still wake up tired. You're irritable and have poor concentration.

What's more, you're eating too much, craving carbs, and packing on the pounds. If this sounds like you, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD.)

According to the University of Iowa Department of Psychiatry, SAD is most common among people in their early to mid-20s, and usually affects more women than men.

The best treatment for SAD is light therapy, either with lights specifically tailored for phototherapy, or with 4-lamp fluorescent light fixtures. But sometimes, a brisk walk in morning sunlight can be just as effective as a light box.

If you have SAD, and want to try light therapy, it's ideal to begin with 10- to 15-minute light sessions, and gradually increase to average 30 to 45 minutes a day.

Despite light therapy, if you're still feeling down in the dumps, speak to your doctor.

Consumer News