Serenity Releases Guide on Overcoming Seasonal Affective Disorder in Addiction

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For addicts in recovery, the “winter blues” may be dangerous.

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SAD may be particularly worrisome, because if the individual did not manifest symptoms in the season of treatment, such symptoms may have been left unknown and unaddressed.

Spring is just around the corner, but for those with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), March 20th may feel like many moons from now. If you or a loved one are experiencing the “winter blues,” it may in fact be something much more than that.

Depression manifests itself in many ways, which may not even be apparent to the individual experiencing such symptoms: prolonged thoughts of dread, sadness, or hopelessness, lack of interest in activities formerly enjoyed, change in eating habits or weight, disinterest or inability to care for oneself.

When such symptoms are triggered by the changing of the seasons, they may in fact be SAD (an unfortunate acronym, perhaps).

Treatment for SAD generally involves light therapy. Outdoor activities, art therapy and even nutritional approaches can sometimes make a difference for the individual experiencing SAD. In many cases, a combination of those and other treatment protocols makes the difference and gets one through until the next changing of the seasons. Over time, with a practice of self-care and medical care, or even travel for those financially able to do so, SAD is very manageable.

For addicts in recovery, SAD can be particularly dangerous. A co-occurring disorder, such as depression, may require its own treatment, prolonged treatment, or make treatment for addiction more difficult. SAD may be particularly worrisome, because if the individual did not manifest symptoms in the season of treatment, such symptoms may have been left unknown and unaddressed.

That’s why Serenity Recovery Center, in Marne, has published a guide for recognizing and addressing Seasonal Affective Disorder, particularly for addicts in recovery.

As friends and loved ones of addicts get acquainted with difficulties recovering addicts may face, they are better equipped to recognize and address those challenges. For SAD and other forms of depression, in particular, it may take an outside individual—a caring friend or family member—to identify what the symptoms are and help get treatment as quickly as possible.

Like other forms of depression, SAD may get worse if left untreated, and suicidal thoughts in particular, may pose an immediate danger to the individual affected.

If you suspect that you or a loved one in your life are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, we recommend immediate care. To speak with a professional, or to learn more about drug or alcohol addiction and treatment, call 1-855-218-3775 or visit the Serenity Recovery website: http://www.serenityrehab.org

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Derry Hallmark
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