SAD and Me
It was in 1995 that I first became aware that I suffered with Seasonal Affective
There's a bit about how it affects me below, but I've now set up a
website devoted to it=>
Website - a specialist site for SAD sufferers with
an holistic approach to managing the symptoms.
My own story continues........
How did I beat SAD?
Well, I never beat it, but I have learned to recognise the symptoms and
the treatments and approaches I use work very well.
The Consolations of
If you are inclined on balance to a less-than-positive view of life (for example,
"it's all b*****x and then you're dead"), you might find, as I did, that some reading helps. Specifically, a friend
recommended "The Consolations of Philosophy" to me. The book gave me a much broader historical perspective of
life. Also, I found "Status Anxiety" (by the same author, Alain de Botton) very thought provoking - it reminds me
that our measurement scale of success today (wealth and/or fame) is purely arbitrary, and will
change. I re-read them both occasionally as they re-ground me. Also, I retain a bit more at each read, then at
dinner parties I can trot out an idiots guide to philosphy :-) There are reviews of the books on my book review page on this
I've been taking this natural remedy since 1985, and I have to say
it has changed my life. I still take it.
When the autumn is approaching, I do still get a bit blue, but I
know I will start the upturn in the New Year. And since I've been using a lightbox, it's been even
Don't worry, it's not all advertising....
Regular exercise can improve the feel-good factor through release of
hormones in the brain. I probably need to get more exercise! I do get to climb my masts from time
Uplifting and high tempo music cheers me
considerably – I have my favourite tracks such as Madelena by Kaleidocopio. It evokes memories of Brazil and
the Brazilians – they seem to take such joy in life! Have a listen to Kaleidoscopio -
favourite track the Brazilian classic Madelena
The best tonic, or so they say. I'll sum it up by saying that I keep
Man Walks into a Bar: The Ultimate Collection of Jokes and
One-liners by my bed.
Thousands of jokes, arranged by subject, and always gets a laugh. I have 2 copies!
And, my favourite films - "Life of Brian" with that oh so positive
anthem, together with "The Meaning of Life". Both by the Monty Python crew of course. Laughter, like exercise,
releases those cheering brain chemicals. Works for me!
Recently, I bought a SAD lightbox. This is a box containing
fluorescent tubes or LEDs with a very high intensity. I switch it on before getting out of bed, and
have it on most of the day when working at my desk - I need a light in the winter anyway. It's very
economical to run, about 33 watts with high luminosity output. It's also
possible to get SAD alarm clocks which gradually raise the light level in the
I'd recommend this lightbox - it offers good value for money
(watts per £), is German made and can be wall mounted.
In 2006, I was lucky enough to sail to Brazil and enjoy Carneval. The sunlight was very bright, and the length of the day is
fairly constant in the tropics. I can recommend a visit to Salvador for Carneval in February. That winter, I had no
SAD at all. There were a few hangovers to cope with, though. The caparinhas are unbeatable!
Janeiro - this shot taken from the hill behind Niteroi (often called the forgotten
1 tumbler of crushed ice
1 lime chopped coarsely
2 dessert spoons white sugar
Quick whizz in the blender, pour into tumbler, top up with Cachasa (white rum - ideally
Note: it is said that alcohol is a
There is more detail about symptoms, onset and so on in my e-article in the
Articles section of this site.
Even More Info?
I recommend the Dummies book - I've got a few books in this series. They are well
organised and written in a way which is easy to digest.