Description Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time of year annually. The most common is the winter depression that starts in the fall and goes through to early spring. SAD has only been recognized since 1985 and tends to occur more frequently the further away from the equator people live. People actually diagnosed with SAD is around 5%, but upwards of 20% of people can have some symptoms of SAD. It occurs four times more often in women than men and average age of onset seems be around 23 years old. Symptoms can start out mild at the beginning of the season and worsen as the season goes on. Symptoms & Features A thorough mental health diagnostic evaluation should be sought if you notice the same symptoms come and go away each year in a cyclical pattern for the past two years. 1) depressed (sad or empty) mood most of the day, 2) hopelessness, 3) weight gain, 4) oversleeping, 5) lowered energy level/fatigued, 6) anxiety, 7) social isolation, 8) indecisiveness or lack of concentration, 9) loss of interest in formerly pleasurable activities, 10) increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates. Causes of seasonal affective disorder remain unknown however some factors have been implicated. Serotonin levels are known to affect depression and it is believed that reduced read more
When psychologist Rian McMullin was asked what he thought the most central problem to most people’s problems were, after some thought, he decided it was that they did not run toward the roar. He explains with a story he had read years ago. The daughter of a missionary lived on the Serengeti Plains of Africa. She had grown up around lion prides and had noticed that, with regard to their older members, they acted differently from other species. While other animals left their elders to die when they could no longer catch their own game, the lion pride did not; they used them to assist in the hunt. The pride would trap antelope and other animals in a ravine, assembling young lions on one side and the old, clawless, toothless lions on the other. The old lions would then roar as loudly as they could. The animals in the ravine would hear the roar and run in the opposite direction, straight into the waiting group of young lions. The lesson for the antelope was clear, though few were left to benefit from it. Had they run to the roar, they would have been safe; but they were too afraid of the noise. By running away from the sound of danger, they ran into the danger itself. The story may or may not be true, but it is helpful nonetheless because it symbolizes a serious problem that most clients have. They turn away from whatever it is that they h read more
There are a set of variables that often interact and come together that set the stage for developing problems with anxiety. They are listed below and we briefly touch on what can be done about them. Biology: Some people are genetically predisposed to developing anxiety problems, meaning it runs in their family and is passed on through genetics. Additionally, some people may have a chemical imbalance of neurotransmitters that can fuel anxiety. Unfortunately, we cannot change the genetic we inherited, however we can manipulate our biochemistry. Physicians and psychiatrists attempt to do just that with psychotropic medications that are designed to manipulate neurotransmitters in an attempt to reduce anxiety. Personality: Many people with anxiety seem to possess a certain group of qualities, attributes, and characteristics that have the potential to create anxiety. Examples include: perfectionistic, high expectations, responsible, avoids conflict, desire to please, need for control, and negative outlook to name a few. Counseling and therapy and ideally suited to help identify these personality traits and teach specific tools designed to help people reduce or eliminate these traits. Stress: Although many people may have the biological and personality attributes that make them prime candidates f read more
- Don’t let things build up: The emotional energy intensifies the longer we wait to bring up an issue. Your ability to address the issue calmly after days or weeks of dwelling on it is not likely to go well.
- Express appreciation: When people receive reinforcement for an action, they are likely to repeat it again in the future. Everyone likes to know their efforts are recognized and appreciated.
- Pick the right time to bring up an issue: Five minutes before you have to leave; when you’re tired and getting ready for bed; when you’re really hungry; these are not good times to bring up an issue. Make sure you will be free of distraction before asking to discuss things and find solutions.
- If you stick your foot in your mouth, admit it and start again: Emotions run high in conflicts and sometimes we say things wrong that can make things worse. If you catch yourself in this moment, just admit it and try to get back on track. “I really blew that one, let me try again.”
- Show you care: This is best accomplished without presents and gifts, but by showing interest. When your partner takes the time to tell you about something that affected them in their day, make sure they know you care and hear them. Turn the TV off, put the paper down, look them in the eye, listen to what they say, ask some questions, demonstrate that you understand.