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Feel SAD When It Rains?

sad-rains

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Feel SAD When It Rains?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is for real; here’s how to cope with it

Are you one of those who love the rainy season? Or does your mood dip when you see grey clouds in the sky? If you happen to fall in the second category, find solace in the fact that you are not alone–and you can beat this. Many people experience a sense of gloominess when monsoon sets in, and there’s a reason behind it. The clinical term is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) which usually affects people when the sun isn’t shining bright.

Dr Satyakant Trivedi, Consultant Psychiatrist at Bansal Hospital, Bhopal, says, “SAD includes having depression that begins and ends during a specific season of the year (with full remittance during other seasons) for at least two years, and having more seasons of depression than seasons without depression over a lifetime. Seasonal pattern disorders occur most frequently in winter although they can also occur in summer (known as reverse SAD).”

He goes on to say that those most at risk are female, younger, living far from the equator, and having family histories of depression, bipolar disorder or SAD.  A person suffering from it can feel sad, easily irritable and have a frequent crying spell. They feel tired and lethargic, have difficulty in concentrating, sleep more than normal, lack energy, decrease their activity levels, withdraw from social activities, crave sweets and gain weight due to overeating.

Well the good news is that you can cope with SAD and start feeling better with these simple tips:

1. Dress up in bright colours

Does your wardrobe have a lot of blacks, browns and whites? While these colours look great, they are not a good choice in the monsoon as they can seriously impact your happiness levels. Scientists have found that you can raise your happiness levels by simply wearing brighter clothes. Dentist Humerah Inamdar agrees. She says,
“Like so many people, the rains make me feel blue and dull. It often tempts you to to laze around all day! One thing that always helps improve my mood is bright colours. Not only do I wear shades of red, yellow and hot pink more often, I also try to incorporate these in my home as well. The energy in these colours really cheers me up!”

2. Change your point of view

The rain is far more crucial than it is irksome. For us folks who tend to focus on the gloominess it brings, looking at it from another angle can help us accept, if not appreciate it. Software Engineer Siddharth Khawas shares how well this has worked for him, “Monsoon blues. I used to feel them till last year, but after I read in detail about all the factors and all the hardwork that comes into play so as to cause the monsoons, I am happy to see them arrive this year! Because it tells me that after a year-long pursuit and lots of hard work this was possible. The monsoon thus has become a source of inspiration and motivation for me.”

3. Trick your mind into being happy

Although I am a monsoon baby, I am not a huge fan of this season as it messes with my mood big-time. Since I can’t control the weather, I trick my mind into feeling happier. I don’t like how the rain makes me feel, but I seriously appreciate the greenery and the fragrance of wet mud. So I focus on them and pretend as if they are the only changes that have taken place. Doing so enables me to somewhat view the lack of sunshine as background noise. Of course, some days, this doesn’t work. And that’s when I treat myself to something I love, like a cup of my favourite beverage: coffee. Having something special to look forward to helps me feel more upbeat and positive about life

(Also Read: 10 Of The Best Small Joys In Life)

Whatever you do, don’t let the blues control you. Dr Trivedi suggests the following: Just regulate your daily routine, sleep cycle, food habits, and continue to exercise. Talk to someone who you can trust and keep yourself busy doing things you love. Of course, he recommends visiting a psychiatrist when you feel symptoms are severe or unmanageable. Antidepressants, light therapy, Vitamin D supplements, and counselling approaches are most effective treatment strategies that will put you out of your misery.

So be sure to seek proper medical help if your case is severe. And don’t forget to enjoy these rainy-day comfort foods!

Image Credit: Imagesbazaar

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Mahevash Shaikh is the twenty-something author of Busting Clichés. She loves to write, draw and laugh (among other things). You can find her using words and pictures to express herself and redefine the word "normal" at www.mahevashmuses.com.

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