Seasonal affect disorder, or seasonal depression, is a condition when people become depressed during the fall and winter months, when there is less exposure to light. Commonly they will feel tired and dull, with very little joy and enthusiasm. For many people, the condition goes away in the spring and summer months. For those who tend towards bipolar disorder, it is common to get depressed in fall and winter and manic in spring and summer. This is considered seasonal manic depression. This does not mean that people are stuck with these conditions for life, rather the condition is an arrow pointing to where one may be out of balance, which then shows us the path back to harmony.
What does it mean to suffer from seasonal depression? It shows us that we are impacted by the forces around us. That there is a reason for depression in one season, and for mania in another.
Seasonally, fall and winter is the time for introspection, rest, calmness, quiet, and stillness. Spring and Summer regulates activity, blooming, expression, and outward focus. These forces which govern rest and activity in the body are akin to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. In either season it is common for the condition that corresponds to each to be exacerbated. As a result, people who are prone towards depression or low energy may feel those symptoms strongest during the winter, while mania will often be at its worst in summer.
Similar to the seasons, our circadian rhythm regulates these changes within the human body. We rise in the morning and we become active during the day. We relax in the evening and we sleep at night. These are the pattern of the daily and seasonal cycles.
To help re-establish the bodies natural harmony, Acupuncture and herbal medicine is used to help get the body back in tune with itself, with its own rhythms and with the forces of all life.
I also use light therapy which enhances the positive effect of the treatment. If you would like to learn more, I encourage you to reach out for a free consultation.
Michael Maniloff, LAC, EAMP