Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder In Seniors5 Apr, 2021
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that can lead to symptoms like reduction in energy, and feelings of sadness. SAD tends to be triggered by the start of the winter months and we are not yet sure what causes the disorder. Some experts say that the changes in season disturb the circadian rhythm of a person, leading to SAD. Others say that the variations in the production of hormones like melatonin and serotonin lead to the disorder. Whatever be the case, it affects many seniors and it is important to understand the ways to manage the disorder.
Managing Seasonal Affective Disorder
It is important to understand that SAD is a type of depression and so it should be discussed with a doctor. People living in senior care and skilled nursing facilities can discuss it with their doctor to find an effective treatment plan. The tips shared below can help seniors combat SAD.
Follow A Schedule
SAD can make it very difficult to sleep and thereby harder to get out of bed in the morning. Therefore, follow a schedule for hitting the bed at night as well as waking up in the mornings.
Make Use Of Light Therapy
There are light therapy boxes that can emit light similar to sunlight. These boxes can help maintain your circadian rhythm. Experts claim that this therapy can be very effective when used in the morning.
Use Dawn Simulator
These are devices that emit light which increases in intensity gradually and can easily mimic sunrise. Dawn simulators can make it easier for seniors to get up in the morning.
Have Vitamin D Supplements
Get yourself tested to find if the level of vitamin D in your body is low. If the level is low, it can be helpful to have vitamin D supplements.
Many researchers claim that the areas of the brain that control emotion and mood can be influenced by the smell of essential oils and so it is indeed worth a try.
Spend Time Outside
The light from a dawn simulator or lightbox can indeed be useful, but nothing is better than having a healthy dose of natural light.
Consider Using Antidepressants
If you find that your SAD does not respond to other therapies, it will be good for you to take antidepressants. Your doctor can prescribe antidepressant medication for you and you need to take it as directed and never stop taking the medication without consulting your doctor.