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Monthly Archives: December 2015

Seasonal Depression is Most Prevalent in Winter

Do You Have Symptoms of Seasonal Depression?

seasonal depressionIf what you feel most about winter is bleak, gray and feels somewhat hopeless, you may be among thousands of Americans with seasonal depression. In fact, for some people, seasonal depression is an annual reality. Seasonal depression doesn’t only strike in winter, but for those affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the dark months are the most common trigger.

Just what causes SAD remains unclear, though there are some theories on what leads to seasonal depression. One explanation suggests that the lack of bright sunlight may result in the brain’s reduced manufacture of the mood-affecting chemical serotonin. This wouldn’t explain why some people experience seasonal depression in spring or summer, yet the theory does match what’s been observed about the condition for winter SAD. For example, SAD more often affects people living in countries with a cold, dark winter season and does not show up as often in tropical, sunny climes.

A person with SAD may feel lethargic, hungry, unfocused and more desirous of solitude. They may gain weight as a result of increased appetite and less activity. Depending upon the severity, a person may find that their seasonal depression symptoms affect work or personal relationships in a negative way. The condition tends to affect more women than men.

Seasonal depression often begins just as a person enters adulthood and persists in a predictable manner according to season, year after year. The good news is that just because a person has been experiencing seasonal depression for a number of years, they don’t have to continue feeling deeply sad and live with these symptoms. Treatment is available and may include rising to get outdoors and expose yourself to the morning sun, bright lamps, antidepressant therapy and meeting with a mental health professional.

If you find that winter brings on a weight of sadness that affects your daily life, stop by and talk with us at Family Guidance Center. Winter doesn’t have to be a season lived with seasonal depression.

Major League Pitcher Sabathia Seeks Treatment for Alcoholism

Sabathia’s Message: “Alcoholism is an Unprejudiced Disease”

alcoholismIf you reach the pinnacle of your career,  have crowds of adoring fans and earn an undreamed salary, it would be hard to imagine that anything could be better. But Major League Baseball pitcher CC Sabathia could tell you differently. The 35-year old Yankees player and father of four recently went public with his years-long struggle with alcoholism and his steps toward recovery.

Sabathia tells the public how he has spent the past three years hiding his illness until he finally sought professional treatment. He tells how he tried to overcome alcohol addiction on his own with some success – a few months of sobriety – only to “fall off the wagon” and back into heavy, secretive binge drinking.

The pitcher described travelling with his team only to spend entire weekends holed up in his hotel room consuming all the alcoholic beverages in the mini-bar. This happened repeatedly and Sabathia says he spent great energy hiding his struggle. Near the end of this year’s season, he reports experiencing a three-day alcohol binge during a weekend ball trip to Baltimore. It was then that he decided to get help.

Though the baseball playoffs were just ahead, Sabathia made the decision to sign himself immediately into a 30-day treatment center. This kind of decision risked his relationships with teammates, not to mention Yankee fans. Fortunately, Sabathia was surprised by an outpouring of team support for his choice to get help.

The other outpouring of support has come from Sabathia’s own family. His wife and children, the oldest of whom understands fully what has transpired, are all on his team.

Sabathia’s message to a watching and listening public? As summarized from interviews, it doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, down and out or at the peak of success – alcoholism is an unprejudiced disease. It affects all people and needs to be treated just as any other disease would.

At Family Guidance Center we’ve seen treatment establish a path to lasting recovery for those living with alcohol addiction. We know things can change. Contact us and let us help you.