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Thread: mid-winter blues

  1. #1
    proud infidel
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    mid-winter blues

    Hi everyone,

    would anyone have any good tips for shaking off the winter blues? For those who may be unfamiliar with this condition, it has been described by the science community as a state in which some people may get depressed in the middle of winter, probably due to lack of sunlight, experts say. Has anyone been able to find a good way to combat this sneaky condition rearing its ugly head every winter? I know some people who regularly head south for a vacation this time of year, hence shortening their winter. Has anyone tried special shakes, formulas or multivitamin supplements? Have some been able to find solace by going out more often or finding more varied activites to do? Outdoor activities like skiing, skating or snowshoeing would appear useful. Or does one resign himself and just suck it up ?

    fml

  2. #2
    A taste of paradise
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    The light in winter is very good specially if you consider the reflexion on the snow. The problem is few people take benefit of it. The solution is: go outside during daytime in a park, out of town is better if you can (winter in a big town is too gray). If it's cold just wear enough to keep you warm. Even if you look ridiculous, your nose will not run and who cares. As for me, there is nothing better than a walk in a big snowstorm, body warmly weared but feeling the snow and earing the blizard.

    As for alimentation, there is nothing better than fresh fruits: clementine, grapefruit, kiwi, grape, pineapple, melon, banana,...

    I used to go out a lot and eat many fruit in winter and if i follow well my rule, i never catch a cold and i never get blues in the winter or any other season.
    Je sème à tout vent!

  3. #3
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    My EX has SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, the technical name for this problem).

    Going outside daily helps but is not always enough. The type of special lights yoiu are looking for are either "full spectrum lights" or "artificial sun". They are the lights used in certain greenhouses.

    My EX would spend a couple hours a day in his reading room with these special lights. It made a big difference.

    You also might need vitamin D. This is the vitamin we get from the sun. ...and of course a balanced diet never hurt anybody.

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

  4. #4
    proud infidel
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    Has anyone tried melatonine? I heard it could be purchased in Platsburgh.

  5. #5
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    femaleluver

    I find this SAD theory quite strange. During the summer I tend to hate the sun and not go out at all until 7 pm (work). I do shopping and other outdoor things on rainy and cloudy days. I also have a very unique apartment building, my windows face other buildings instead of the street so the longest time that the sun can shine through my windows is about 1.5 hour/day. Moreover, I keep my opaque curtains closed at all times during all year round (I have ugly old windows).

    During the winter however, I tend to walk to school every day (25+ minutes). And I'm not so afraid of the sun.

    Nonetheless, I noticed I was depressed every winter after New Years' for the past 3 winters. I wasn't sure if it is SAD or it is related to my after-exam 'the fight is over' feeling.

    Another strange fact is that people who live up North and get very little sunlight during the winter tend to be less depressed than us. Maybe it is genetics.

    For myself the best way of handling depression is giving in to it and eventually the chemicals in my brain get tired of being depressed and suddenly splash me with joy. However, if the depression prevents me from important activities such as studying then there is a problem. This winter I gave up and started taking antidepressants for the first time. So far I cannot say if they are good or bad. If I will come to a conclusion I will let you know.

    Of course if you have a chance to do winter sports especially with some good company this is great. But if you feel too busy or too lazy then I definitely suggest taking walks every day. I walk to work or school even when it is -25C, I find it very refreshing and mood lifting. It also gives you time to think things over. Being with yourself and thinking is a very healthy activity, it lowers blood pressure and helps to relax your nervous system. You can also plan things out while walking.

    Carla

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by naughtylady
    You also might need vitamin D. This is the vitamin we get from the sun. ...and of course a balanced diet never hurt anybody.

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    I agree, we all need more D starting in October to May (at least 1,000 IUs/daily if not more). Also, a brisk walk outside during a sunny day helps you feel better.

    GG

  7. #7
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    Stay active as much as possible, if you are just going to sit there like a bump on the log then of course it is going to get worse, i used to hate winter but now i enjoy it because i am a active person, sking, skating, ice fishing, taking the dog for a walk(my favourite), go to a shopping mall , go to a gym, the key is to get out of the damn apartment or house as much as possible and do something.

    Carla- i have tried wellbutrin and i found it to be useless but i hope it works for you, keep us updated.

  8. #8
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    I start feeling very sad before christmas and it usually lasts untill 2 weeks after(since I was little actually).I tend to over psychoanalyse myself when this happens.I find drinking(alcohol) and not getting enough sleep adds to the problem .For me , it helps to write a lot to sort out the clutter in my head . I take a b100 complex vitamin and it helps . I find if I have sex a lot , I feel much happier Also watching funny movies helps . I (almost always, not just in the winter ) avoid being alone , I constantly invite people over for supper and kidnap my nieces

  9. #9
    I used to hate wintah and got the blues every year. I had nothing to look forward to. I kept up with my daily workouts inside the gym, but hated wintah. Last year my friends and I discovered ice fishing which is a great extension of our love for regular fishing. Argueably we now prefer it to warm weather fishing. Not promoting ice fishing in particular, but if you have a hobby dependent upon wintah conditions it will help you deal with the cold months. Just a thought.

    MM

  10. #10
    Working rage-aholic
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    You can try anti depressants, however, as some doctors will admit, the effects of an individual drug on each person will be different. You can end up experimenting with lots of them, during which time you still suffer. You may never find one that works for you. Or they may be great for you. Doctor's don't really know, so you can consider yourself an experiment. The only certainty with SSRIs is that they will cause a man to last longer in the sack.

    As someone who has suffered from SAD, I would second Oliver's assertion that exercise and maintaining a set schedule is really helpful. It's best to exercise outside during the middle of the day, if at all possible. Individually, sunlight and exercise cause the release of serotonin and other beneficial chemicals in the brain. When you combine the two, their effect is awesome.
    Plus, they're the only SAD treatment I know of with no side effects.

    As for artifical lights that you can buy, I have one, and I swear by it. I bought it at northernlighttechnologies.com. I don't necessarily endorse Northern lights, though.
    These lights have to be used in the morning. By using it in the morning, you help stimulate the production of melatonin at night. If you use it much later, you can really screw up your sleep patterns.

    Someone also mentioned melatonin. I don't know if it's legal in Canada, but it's legal over the counter and cheap in the US. It will certainly help you sleep. But, it's a powerful neurohormone. Long term use may cause your body to stop making melatonin on it's own. If you think you're suffering now, wait until insomnia kicks in...if you haven't already experienced it.
    Also, you better only take melatonin if you have 7 or 8 hours to sleep. If you take it and expect to wake up in four or five hours, you're going to be hurting.

  11. #11
    proud infidel
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daringly
    Get special lamps and more powerful light bulbs, keep your house and or apartment as bright as possible.
    Do you think going to a suntanning salon could be helpful?

  12. #12
    proud infidel
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    Quote Originally Posted by naughtylady
    My EX has SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder, the technical name for this problem).

    Going outside daily helps but is not always enough. The type of special lights yoiu are looking for are either "full spectrum lights" or "artificial sun". They are the lights used in certain greenhouses.

    My EX would spend a couple hours a day in his reading room with these special lights. It made a big difference.

    You also might need vitamin D. This is the vitamin we get from the sun. ...and of course a balanced diet never hurt anybody.

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    You really seem to be a fountain of knowledge, naughtylady!

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Carla]I find this SAD theory quite strange. During the summer I tend to hate the sun and not go out at all until 7 pm (work). I do shopping and other outdoor things on rainy and cloudy days. I also have a very unique apartment building, my windows face other buildings instead of the street so the longest time that the sun can shine through my windows is about 1.5 hour/day. Moreover, I keep my opaque curtains closed at all times during all year round (I have ugly old windows).
    Being with yourself and thinking is a very healthy activity, it lowers blood pressure and helps to relax your nervous system. You can also plan things out while walking.
    Carla


    Have you ever considered you might have gothic tendencies, Carla?

    I've found that being with myself sometimes also allows me to become more creative, and get a better view on life.

    fml

  14. #14
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    Do you think going to a suntanning salon could be helpful?
    These are not full spetrum lights, not what you are looking for. Tjough everybody looks better with a tan

    Ronnie,
    Naughtylady
    They will forget what you said,
    they will forget what you did,
    but they will never forget the way you made them feel.

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