Coping with S.A.D. and Depression at the same time. Any suggestions?
I use a full-spectrum light and continue with my anti-depressants, which I take regularly anyway. Exercise is good, as well as changing eating habits, stay away from foods that make you feel tired and sluggish... I knew I had S.A.D. even with chronic depression, because I noticed how, even depressed, my mood would gradually go down more in the fall, and then elevate drastically the first mild day in the spring -- it was wild, almost like I was punch drunk.
When I lived in Seattle, I suffered from SAD and was also often depressed from emotional issues. I did create a bright light for my work space, and forced myself to go out for a walk at noon daily, even if it was raining. Was hard to get motivated to do so, but by making a habit, I was able to do it. I rarely drove anywhere, but when I did, I opened the sunroof to let the light in.
I had a poster of my Kauai beach view over my computer, which gave me a respite to think about strolling along the beach soaking up sun. Always just working toward my next trip. Since moving to Kauai, I get depressed far less often, but it still happens. Outdoor exercise, even thought it's hard to leave the house, still is my best way to combat depression.
SAD is easily treatable... the suggestions on this thread are great. As to depression, that's a more complex issue. You didn't mention how much it's been a part of your life before now, is it connected to trauma, is it genetic, have you seen therapists or been on meds for it before? All important aspects to consider.
The other comments offer excellent advice. I strongly advise you to seek medical help as well, even if it your physician. I used to increase my dose of antidepressants starting in the fall and returning to my "normal" dose in the spring - at the direction of my doctor. In the old days, I used to also bump up my dose a week prior to going out of town. I'm more prone to suicidal thoughts when I'm tired and traveling is always tiring for me. Both of these measures really helped.
First, it's great that you're reaching out. Congrats on that! I agree, expose yourself to as much daylight as possible. Even stepping outside for a moment can be refreshing. Is there somewhere you can volunteer? A food bank, homeless shelter, soup kitchen or animal shelter? Seek help from a professional if you can. I wish you the best.
Oh that sucks. Seek the sunlight. Get up and move around. Go outside if weather is user friendly. Create as much light as you can in your environment. Seek out things that make you laugh and music that makes you happy. Tell yourself that this too will pass.Did you know that there is a light therapy for this condition? Oh and also add some vitamin D to your diet because it has anti depressive qualities. Hope this helps. (I am also have to deal with this condition.)