BRENTWOOD (press release)—Cold temperatures, shorter hours of daylight and less time outdoors can trigger the depressive symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reports that drug and alcohol abuse is a common problem among patients who are diagnosed with depressive disorders like S.A.D., reporting that more than 20 percent of patients diagnosed with any mood disorder are also living with a substance abuse problem. Additionally, NIDA found that more than 20 percent of those diagnosed with a depression disorder abused drugs and alcohol.
Depressive disorders, such as S.A.D., often cause feelings of overwhelming sadness, numbness, isolation, sleep disorders, digestive and food-related disorders, and downright hopelessness. With all of those symptoms compounding, people suffering from S.A.D. can self-medicate with a drink or two, a line or two of cocaine, to temporarily relieve some of the symptoms and trigger substance abuse problems or exacerbate a lingering one. The good news is, that once the problem is identified, and S.A.D. is diagnosed, it is almost alway possible to bring the depression and addiction under control.
“It’s important that we recognize SAD as a real condition,” said Julie Eisenbeck, spokesperson for Addiction Campuses. “Drinking wine or taking a Valium is not the way you deal with a disease. It’s important to know that SAD is real, it can be dangerous and it can lead to a substance abuse problem.”
How to deal with seasonal affective disorder when in recovery:
There are several ways for those in recovery to treat S.A.D.:
- Go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day, getting enough sleep at night.
- Regular exercise is beneficial for all types of depression, including S.A.D. Also, eating a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins – while limiting the intake of salt, sugar, and saturated fats.
- Brighten up your room or workspace as much as possible, preferably with plenty of natural light. Sitting in a dark room all day can exacerbate the symptoms of S.A.D.
- Pay attention to worsening signs of depression and report them immediately.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol to ease any symptoms. Studies show that alcohol and drugs only worsen the symptoms of depression as the body undergoes withdrawal depression.
For more information call Addiction Campuses at (888) 614-2251 or go to www.addictioncampuses.com
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