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Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD, causes you to have difficulty functioning both at work and in your personal life. An estimated fourteen million Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Another fourteen percent of the population suffers from a lesser form of SAD, known as the winter blues. I wised up to the onset and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder when I lived in Minot, North Dakota. I can’t recall if I lived in North Dakota four years or a lifetime. Oh yes, I remember now, it was four years and it felt like a lifetime. I never got used to the brutal winters.

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My aversion to the frigid cold of North Dakota winters was extreme. I’d start worrying about plummeting temperatures during the July 4th weekend. Each year as I watched the fireworks, I‘d think to myself, “God in six months it’ll be the dead of winter”. And, just like that, the black cloud filled with memories of North Dakota’s last winter drifted in and hung over me like white on rice. I saw myself scraping frozen sheets of ice clinging to the inside of my car windshield, I felt the temperatures of minus eighty degrees and remember the air outside being so cold taking a deep breath was painful. And so it began on July 4th my downward spiral into a depressed state I called, “Winter Mode” hell. But, I had family and friends for support. But, what about the people who face the dark days of winter alone? How do they cope with the symptoms of depression stemming from seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal Affective Disorder: SAD and alone

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The short days and long cold nights of winter can have a negative effect on people who already feel lonely and isolated. Often these are older people who are physically challenged and fearful of weather conditions that can pose a danger, such as falling on ice or getting pneumonia. The number of people living alone has increased from 5 percent in the 1920s to 27 percent in 2013 and this percentage is much larger in big cities, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Not everyone who lives alone is lonely, but those who are can often become mentally or physically ill because of it. Isolation and loneliness is painful to the spirit. Read more…

Gretchen Reynolds of The New York Times details the tragic story of one man’s life alone.in her article, The lonely Death of George Bell.

The Lonely Death of George Bellhttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/18/nyregion/dying-alone-in-new-york-city.html?_r=0

They found him in the living room, crumpled up on the mottled carpet. The police did. Sniffing a fetid odor, a neighbor had called 911. The apartment was in north-central Queens, in an unassertive building on 79th Street in Jackson Heights. The apartment belonged to a George Bell. He lived alone. George Bell – a simple name, two syllables, the minimum. There were no obvious answers as to who he was or what shape his life had taken. What worries weighed on him. Whom he loved and who loved him. In discovering a death, you find a life story and perhaps meaning. Could anything in the map of George Bell’s existence have explained his lonely end? nytimes.com

 

Will living alone make you depressed? – CNN.com

It’s long been known that elderly people are more prone to depression and other mental-health problems if they live on their own. New research suggests the same pattern may also be found in younger, working-age adults.

Seasonal Affective Disorder: Living Alone

Recently released census data shows that 31 million people live alone. That means that over a quarter of people live on their own. A growing body of research shows that people who live by themselves may be at a higher risk for depression.

 Living alone: 7 ways to feel more connected

  •  First ask yourself if living alone is right for you. There’s no denying it: Living alone does come with some risks.
  •  Give a copy of your key to someone you trust. No matter what age you are, it’s always good for someone else to have access to your space in case of an emergency.
  • Make the effort and get to know your neighbors. Get a support network. When you live alone, knowing that there’s always someone you can count on in an emergency is critical and could be a life saver.  
  • Stick to a schedule. Don’t isolate yourself. Structure your time and set up a routine. What’s really helpful, ( I know from experience), taking care of a pet. Pets will keep you on a schedule. Also, your neighbors will notice if you haven’t walked the dog in 4 days. And, that’s a good thing.
  • Keep your social calendar full. Get in touch with friends and make plans to go out and DO something. Also, invite friends over for happy hour, watch a movie or Monday night football. 
  • No plans? no worries? Get out where people gather. Go to a farmers market, an outdoor mall or grab your laptop and hit a local coffee hangout. You’ll feel energized by the activity of others. 
  • Turn off the television. Quiet time alone  doesn’t mean, “turn on the TV” time. People snack more on high fat and salty foods  while watching TV. Adding pounds is an invitation to feelings of fatigue, restlessness, loss of enjoyment and feelings or worthlessness. Guess what would happen if I put all those ingredients in a bowl? If  you said “depression” you’re right.

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