What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?  (SAD) - aifc

Now that Spring is well and truly on its way warmer sunny days lay ahead to bring about relief from the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as SAD, a form of recurrent major depression affecting some people during seasonal changes.

Experts say that a lack of sunlight during winter months with shorter days can cause SAD.  Sufferers are thought to lack vitamin D that is considered to play a significant role in serotonin activity.  Those with SAD may have trouble regulating levels of serotonin. (A major neurotransmitter involved in mood.) Sufferers of SAD might have little energy, sleep too much, and crave sugar or starchy type foods.  Symptoms can be mild to severe.

Symptoms

Not all the symptoms will be present at once in a person.  Each case is an individual one with symptoms differing per person.

  • Feelings of hopelessness and sadness
  • Suicide Ideation
  • Insomnia
  • Oversleeping
  • Craving for sweet or starchy foods
  • Weight gain
  • Lethargy or Fatigue
  • Energy levels drop
  • Less physical activity
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Increased emotional sensitivity to rejection
  • Social isolation or avoidance of socialising
  • loss of interest in regular activities

Treatment For SAD

Bright Light Therapy is commonly used for treating SAD to combat depression, anxiety, insomnia and other symptoms.  Research has shown that Bright Light Therapy can treat those with SAD who are exposed to a special kind of light for 30 minutes a day. The artificial light is received by receptors in the eyes which trigger a serotonin release and encouraging a person’s natural sleep thus creating a feeling of wellbeing.

Other treatments used to treat SAD are Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) through counselling, Vitamin D and anti-depressants.  From the three types of treatment available CBT is thought to be the most effective method for treating SAD long term.  A combination of treatments can be used simultaneously.

Sources

Psychology Today      News Medical Life Science

Where to Get Help

Talk to your doctor who can point you in the right direction.

Visit CCAA to search for a Christian counsellor near you.

Visit ACA to search for a counsellor near you.

Free 24/7 Counselling Services

Lifeline on 13 11 14

Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800

MensLine Australia on 1300 789 978

Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467

Beyond Blue on 1300 22 46 36

Headspace on 1800 650 890

Studying at aifc

Equip yourself for life with Christian counselling skills.  It’s a great opportunity to learn how you can help others in their time of need.

For those who would like to enrol in aifc’s accredited Christian counselling courses we have two intakes per year for courses commencing around the following months:

  • At The beginning of each year in February.
  • Mid-Year courses commence in July.

Enrolments open approximately 3 months prior the courses commencing. Enquire now and fill out the form with your details to receive course information by email.

Note: A Masters course in Christian counselling will be introduced in 2018.

Contact aifc Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm with your enquiries on 6242 5111 or toll free on 1300 721 397

Studying at aifc

Have you thought about becoming a qualified counsellor? It’s a great opportunity to learn how you can extend God's love and grace to the hurting out in the community.

For those who would like to enrol in aifc’s accredited Christian counselling courses we have two intakes per year for courses commencing around the following months:

  • The beginning of each year in February
  • Mid-Year courses commence in July

Enrolment Season - opens approximately 2 months prior to our courses commencing. Enrol online here during our enrolment season.

We also offer two modes of study:

  1. Seminar Blended Mode - only 13 face-to-face days per year
  2. Online Supported Mode - study online only from anywhere

A Master of Counselling course was introduced in 2018.

Contact aifc

Monday to Friday from 9am – 5pm

At aifc, our sole focus is to train and equip Christian Counsellors. More than just a counsellor, a Christian counsellor trusts in God and listens to His still small voice above all else.

It’s a big difference.

Nicholas Marks, CEO aifc

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