Hello everyone.

Can anyone give me advice? I have suffered from seasonal Affective disorder for many years, last Autumn/winter I had a complete breakdown. The second one I have experienced.

I currently take citalopram 30mg which has kept me well and enjoying life. I have also had a course of CBT. However, over the last month I have started to feel down again. I lack motivation and feel as though I am taking myself away from family and friends.

I have a light box and I get out whenever I can but is there anything else I can try to help myself?

Thank you

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7 Replies

  • Hi

    I was going to suggest a lightbox, but see you already have one. I know its hard when you don't have any motovation, but I find gettong some exercise helps. I have joined a gym and love going for a swim. Not sure if it will help but might be worth a try?

    Jules x

  • Hello BOB here

    All I can suggest is set a task for the day and do it,, try and visit someone you know. Go shopping,you do not need to buy anything,just be outside.

    Go for a walk in a park or go down to the coast for a walk,just to get out so you are not looking at four walls, We have a dog,we were pushed into getting one by the CPN. This is our second on,they force you to go for a walk I find that helps


  • Yes I have three dogs. It's just difficult when your working and looking after a family.

  • Yes I suppose so life is full of busy,we all feel that way,I suppose the day should be twenty six hours long

    All the best. Keep a hold


  • Hi there maybe your Meds need to be increased to cope

    With the. Decrease in light. My Dr. Increases my Meds at this time and then tapers back in spring. Think about this, it might help.


  • In addition to a light box you could try a body clock - which gives you the chance to go to sleep with an artificial sunrise and an artificial sunset - which can also help with sleep patterns.

    Don't use the light box after 1800 ish in the evening as that can destroy sleep patterns but you are probably already aware of that.

    In terms of motivation - one of the strange but true facts about depression is that motivation and action get switched around so you actually have to do something before you start to feel like doing something - so you probably do need to push yourself a little and not rely upon motivation to prompt you to contact/be with friends and family ... but don't overdo it.

    You might also find some mindfulness based cognitive therapy useful - could build on your CBT and help you continue to/be more aware of thought patterns that creep up on you. A book that really helped me was Mindfulness - a practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world - Mark Williams and Danny Penman.

    I don't know about you but there was a time when I would start to panic at the summer solstice and get a bit dragged under by thoughts of it all being down hill from here. Last year I managed to get to the autumn equinox by focusing on the days being longer than the nights but still struggled a bit with after the autumn equinox. This year I'm just focusing on light when it is around, the colours of the leaves, just little things rather than following that chain of thought that focuses on how much darkness there is to come before the days start to lengthen ... let alone start being longer than the nights. One day at a time and try to be in the moment.

  • Hi

    I think most people who are depressed find it more difficult in the winter than in the summer for all sorts of reasons, some physical and to do with light levels and the amount of exercise we get but also psychologically because for most people sunshine lifts the spirits.

    I wonder whether this time of year has any personal significance for you. For example, I know that I always have been more depressed in the build up to Christmas, partly because when I was still a child my father left home and I had to hide my distress about that and as a result of all the changes the next Christmas was lonely and painful - it's called an 'anniversary response' and is a common occurrence with depression.

    I wonder whether you can view the autumn and winter as opportunities to do something expressive and creative, for example you might find something to look forward to each day, perhaps reading particular kinds of books or doing some indoor activity you might enjoy. I set myself a structure to my days in winter so that I have a familiar pattern and that in itself is comforting, I organise my life so that at the times of day when I would otherwise be most depressed I am watching particular dvds or recorded tv programmes rather than watching them when they are on, also I let myself cry when I go to bed and that relieves some of the build up and save my most enjoyable meals until evening so I have those to look forward to. It's a question of building distractions and comforts into my day.. I still feel very much lower in the winter than summer but deal with the symptoms. Vitamin D levels affect the way we feel and taking a supplement may help. Sharing the feelings before they become worse definitely helps!


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