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Can I prevent the onset of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

Because our internal clocks, rhythms, and regulators are heavily influenced by exposure to light, it’s no surprise that one of the main causes of SAD is prolonged deprivation of adequate sunlight that our bodies need to stay on track. The hormones that affect mood, energy, and even food cravings, can become imbalanced. Hence, the ways to prevent and/or treat SAD include arranging for exposure to light every day (natural sunlight, or using lightbox therapy), staying active and maintaining routine physical exercise, and scheduling a midwinter vacation in a warm, sunny place.

From The Mind-Beauty Connection: 9 Days to Less Stress, Gorgeous Skin, and a Whole New You by Amy Wechsler.

Jill A. Grimes, MD
Family Medicine
You may be able to prevent seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by using light therapy (using full-spectrum lightbulbs in your home and work) or consciously spending more time outside in the sunlight. Of course, moving to a more southern location can help, especially if you are far north, but that is not typically feasible for most people.

There are no known ways seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can be prevented. If you have a family history of seasonal affective disorder or depression, early diagnosis and treatment gives you your best chance of keeping symptoms to a minimum. Once SAD is diagnosed, quickly managing your symptoms may help reduce the risk of severe changes in mood and energy.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.