FAQ’d: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Expert Shaq MacNeil answers his most frequently asked questions them winter blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder. 


Shaq, what is seasonal affective disorder?

Great question.

Seasonal affective disorder is a state of listless depression contracted when Daylight Savings Time ends in November. After enjoying an extra hour of sleep, one comes to the sobering realization that they must live in perpetual darkness until winter ends in March, spurring an environmentally induced depression.

Shaq, how do I treat my seasonal affective disorder?

Great question.

Since seasonal affective disorder is a state of depression brought on by winter darkness, the best thing you can do to alleviate the tiredness, fatigue, depression, crying spells, irritability, trouble concentrating, body aches, loss of sex drive, poor sleep, decreased activity levels, overeating, constipation, bed sores, carbohydrate cravings and thoughts of suicide that come with SAD is to get more light.

Shaq, how do I get more light?

Great question.

The southern hemisphere is currently tilted towards the sun, meaning they’re getting all of our precious light. I wouldn’t recommend venturing below the equator due to the southern hemisphere’s open affiliation with Australia.

Instead, you are better off investing in a light box to treat your SAD. A light box mimics outdoor light, causing a chemical change in the brain that lifts a person out of their SAD-funk. Press your face on a phototherapeutic light box for 30 minutes and you’ll feel as fresh as a summer morning in no time.

And for those of you with serious SAD, you’ll want to invest in a light bed. They are similar to light boxes, the only difference being that phototherapeutic light beds surround your entire body with ultraviolet radiation to produce a cosmetic tan. Not only will the light change the chemicals in your brain for the better, but your new tan will make you feel more confident and attractive among your pasty-white peers.

Just look at how happy these tanners look:

Do they look like that have seasonal affective disorder? Of course not. They’re too busy being beautifully tan to feel sad that it’s always dark.

Shaq, is there anything I can do to treat my SAD without getting extra light?

Great question.

I suppose one could try eating a balanced diet and exercising rather than use light therapy to treat seasonal affective disorder, although it is highly unorthodox. If you choose to go down this road, please at least eat a balanced diet and exercise close to some high-wattage light bulbs. 

Shaq, is it possible to have SAD in both the summer and the winter?

Great question.

It is possible. It’s called general depression. Talk to someone about it.

Shaq, what now?

Great question.

If you have a topic that you need FAQ’d by Shaq, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Send your topics for FAQing to @TheNicessist or @ShaqMucReal on Twitter.

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