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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    S. Lake Tahoe CA and Marion Mass
    Posts
    359

    SADD that time of the year

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    I feel kind of silly even writing this, but I need help. It's that time of the year that I love which is autumn but right after that is when the sun goes on vacation. I am going to probably be moving to the east coast and right now, I need to find a way to deal with winter. I just couldn't cope last year. I thought that SADD was a joke but it isn't!

    I have read and read about lights that you can use but I just don't want to buy something that isn't going to work. I don't get downright depressed, it's like, I need sun. Short of going to a tanning bed every day, what can I do? I would love to hear from someone else that has used the lights or found some other way to deal with it.

    One way of dealing with it is I'm going to suck it up and bike all winter. No matter what. Last year I curled up and didn't ride outside for months. That just isn't going to happen this year!

    Enjoy the days while they are still long enough!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,043
    I've never tried the lights, but I do try to get outside in the winter as much as I can. Unfortunately, I don't live in a winter wonderland type of a place. Indianapolis gets wet and cold in the winter, but we don't get enough snow frequently enough to allow for skiing or snowshoeing, and I'm not a big fan of riding in temps lower than 35 degrees. So last year I took up running again after a long hiatus from it. I think it helped. I at least made it to February without totally losing it. I also exercised in general as much as I could and really stuck to my schedule in that regard. There was no "but wouldn't it be nice to just go home after work and snuggle with my cats."

    Still, I think it would help me if I scheduled a long weekend or vacation in February/early March. That's usually about the time I start to really climb the walls. And I'd be willing to try to lights if my SADD continues to worsen as I get older.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeDirtGirl View Post
    One way of dealing with it is I'm going to suck it up and bike all winter. No matter what.
    I think that's what saved me last year. I cycled through the winter except for 3 weeks in February. Tanning beds don't seem to do anything for me as well as being near windows. What helped me more than anything was getting outside--whether it was on the bike or walking the dogs. All I needed was about 30 minutes a day and I did much better. I have talked to my gyne about meds for SADD and I do have an Rx for the winter months, just in case I need it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
    Posts
    2,131
    Quote Originally Posted by indysteel View Post
    There was no "but wouldn't it be nice to just go home after work and snuggle with my cats."
    But how do you find the willpower to fight that urge? That's been my problem. I also don't get depressed as in dejected or sad, but I do feel physically and mentally pressed down, like there's something making me lethargic and unmotivated. Sometimes, no amount of internal pep talks or yelling at myself to "just do it!" works. How do you convince yourself to get the heck up and get moving?
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    The trick is to just get outside. You don't have to ride, just get outside and walk, hike, snow shoe.
    My friend uses the lights and they are successful, but she doesn't exercise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Md suburbs of Wash. DC
    Posts
    2,131
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    The trick is to just get outside.
    I've considered trying the lights just to get me energized and motivated enough to even make it that far. For me, it's not just the shorter winter days, it's also any day that's grey and overcast. I look out the window and don't have any urge to even open the front door.

    Thanks for starting this thread, TahoeDirtGirl. I've thought of asking this question, too, so I appreciate you taking the plunge.
    "How about if we all just try to follow these very simple rules of the road? Drive like the person ahead on the bike is your son/daughter. Ride like the cars are ambulances carrying your loved ones to the emergency room. This should cover everything, unless you are a complete sociopath."
    David Desautels, in a letter to velonews.com

    Random babblings and some stuff to look at.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    California
    Posts
    777
    TahoeDirtGirl,

    I HEAR YOU!!! I have the same problem. Last year my doc recommended light therapy. I bogged myself down with researching and never bought anything (they are EXPENSIVE). However, this year I am going to do it. This is what she prescribed: "High intensity (10,000 lux), broad spectrum lights 30 min. exposure to your pupils at dawn and dusk (as a minimum) or visor most of the time."

    A tanning bed is not going to do it, besides the fact that it raises your risk of skin cancer. Also, 30 minutes outdoors isn't going to do it either here in Northern California . . . especially during rainy/foggy season. The sun just isn't intense enough during winter months if you have diagnosable SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

    Good luck to you! I'm hoping that my flexible spending account will reimburse me since it is prescribed by my doc, but I've heard it is VERY difficult to get the lights covered by insurance or FSA's.
    Last edited by michelem; 09-12-2008 at 05:01 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Upstate of SC
    Posts
    197
    Tanning beds have always helped me. I only get in for a few minutes several times a week. I can tell a difference after I go about twice.
    Cycling is the new running.

    Visit my blog: http://www.riverofmuscadinespublishing.com/

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,433
    Since moving from the Tennessee to Indiana, I have seriously bad SADD. The lights do help. You can also get Full Spectrum bulbs in your normal lights to help as well, but they can be harsh and not very 'warm'. You have to get the high intensity lights on your face for them to work well.

    I also have a south facing window in my office that makes ALL the difference in the world. When my office window was north facing for four years, I was borderline suicidal around January/February.

    The tanning beds do genuinely help, but you need a lot of it...and I'm not a big fan of winter-time false tans...(or burns)...so focus on safer alternatives.

    A winter vacation to the Caribbean might help as well.
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    +1 to getting outside as much as possible.

    I grew up on the east coast and now live in Seattle. Short days in winter are hard anywhere, but at least on the east coast you get an occasional sun break, even if the temperature is low. Take advantage of those days.

    I got one of those little LCD lights from Costco last winter, and I feel like it's better than coffee for helping me get up in the morning. Trouble with it is, the feature that would have it turn on automatically only works when it is plugged in, and it makes a high-pitched electrical hissing noise when it's in sleep mode. And I can't listen to that when I'm trying to sleep. So I charge it in another room, and I still have to drag myself out of bed in order to get, say, 15 minutes of exposure to it. After that, I'm good to go.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    S. Lake Tahoe CA and Marion Mass
    Posts
    359
    Yeah it's definately on it's way. I was starting to feel that "snuggle up with the dog" feeling on the couch yesterday evening driving home from work. And yes, right around Feb I'm ready to just scream and throw dishes at the calendar.

    Last year I just didn't know where to ride or what to do, or was afraid of it being too cold. I just said the heck with it and started riding while it was still cooler and was kicking myself because it wasn't *that bad*.

    In Tahoe, we get alot of sun. Plus with the snow, it's like being microwaved. It's always light in my house because of the snow. But here on the East Coast I'm like...where did it gooooo??? I actually like the change of seasons, in Tahoe it's Summer, then winter. I like the rain. But at some point I'm pulling out my hair.

    I actually have to go to the Dominican Republic for my neice's wedding in January...so maybe that will help!

    I went to a tanning bed once and for 3 minutes I was fantasizing of riding my bike in the Nevada desert...but I sizzled for 2 days straight. That wasn't so good.

    I will check out the full spectrum lights- I talked to my doctor out here about this and my insane PMS which seems to be getting better with the reduction of sugar and increase in weight training- but I don't like pills unless I just can't survive without them. He wasn't real helpful on either case. I miss my California doc. His answer would be to move back! Haha...

    So now I'm debating ...illuminite commuter jacket (retail 89 bucks) or full spectrum light (about the same)...what to do...

    It is funny about the getting outside point...I don't get the urge to walk my dog in the morning until fall hits. This summer, I hardly walked her in the a.m. Now I am back on track to walking her in the a.m. I think subconsciously the brain is trying to get me outside...

    As for how to get off the couch...I will continue with the 'groceries only enter the house on the back of a bike'. You will not believe how well that has cleaned up my eating!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Niagara County, NY (Rainbow Country!)
    Posts
    98
    I have experienced SADD for years and years. Some years it seems to be worse than others, for whatever reason.

    I do have a light. I confess I don't use it religiously.

    What seems to help me more than anything else is forcing myself (yeah, sometimes I really have to kick myself in the butt) to get outside in the daylight and go for a walk. That can frequently be a challenge around here: semi-rural, no sidewalks, mostly no shoulders on the roads; when there's a lot of snow it's a big issue.

    I also fantasize about spring a lot.
    Jane

    Every human being must be viewed according to what it is good for; for none
    of us, no not one, is perfect; and were we to love none who had
    imperfections, this world would be a desert for our love.

    --- Thomas Jefferson

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,193
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeDirtGirl View Post
    So now I'm debating ...illuminite commuter jacket (retail 89 bucks) or full spectrum light (about the same)...what to do...
    Illuminite--so you can do all that riding. You're a tough chick and I know you'd rather be outside on the trail. I rode in temps of 20 F last winter and it really wasn't too bad as long as I had my feet, head, and hands warm enough. I dug out my silky underwear, a wool jersey and my fuzzy, warm tights and away I went.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Blessed to be all over the place!
    Posts
    3,433
    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeDirtGirl View Post
    I will check out the full spectrum lights
    Look for 10,000 lux and remember that you need it at close proximity on your face (about 12-15 inches) for 15 minutes/day...use it like a reading light. I fear that the good ones may cost more than you expect...Silver's was > $300...
    If you don't grow where you're planted, you'll never BLOOM - Will Rogers

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    186
    I started taking vitamin D (D3) last winter & it made a big difference.

 

 

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