Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

January 15, 2013

Local therapist offers tips to beat "the blues"

Greensburg — Bone-chilling temperatures; snowy-white fields of ice; leafless trees and fewer hours of sunlight — with the holidays well behind us, Old Man Winter has descended over Decatur County in full force.

Some might associate this time of year with snowball fights, snow-men and sledding. Others might enjoy the chance at going to bed a little earlier and snuggling in beneath a pile of warm blankets with a cup of hot cocoa near the bedside.

For others, however, this time of year brings a figurative veil of darkness in addition to the literal one ushered in by November’s time change.

In fact, for sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), November’s time change, combined with the natural shortening of days as winter sets in, leads to depression.

Kelly Benedict, LMST, Clinic Coordinator and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with Greensburg’s Centerstone, told the Daily News that SAD is not unusual this time of year. The facility, she said, sees its fair share of SAD cases each winter.

“We see a lot of depressed people across the board,” she said, “but we do see an increase in the winter.”

SAD symptoms, she explained, are generally the same as for traditional depression.

“People want to sleep more; they experience appetite changes — over eating and under eating,” she explained. “Sufferers experience general fatigue and low energy in daily life, a lack of interest in daily activities, difficulty concentrating, and moodiness.”

Benedict stressed, however, that SAD isn’t classified as a major depressive disorder. As such, healthcare providers only prescribe medication to SAD patients as a last course of therapy.

“One of the most effective treatments for SAD is called Light Therapy,” she said. “There are special lights that replicate sunlight patients can buy and turn on inside their homes. Generally, the patient sets aside a specific block of time each day to have the light on. Consistency is important with this kind of therapy. Patients should have the light for the same amount of time and at the same time each day.”

Of course, Benedict added, an even better form of therapy can be found in sunlight itself.

“If you have SAD and you can stand the cold, take advantage of every minute of sunlight you can get,” she added. “Whenever there’s a sunny day, get outside in it every opportunity you get.”

Other SAD therapeutic measures include staying active; deep breathing and meditation; keeping a “gratitude journal” (writing down things you’re thankful for on a daily basis); reading humor or watching funny movies.

“Laughter always helps,” Benedict said. “It’s not the best medicine for SAD patients, though — that would be sunlight.”

When doctors prescribe medication for SAD patients, the coordinator added, it’s typically in lower doses compared to other depressed patients and for shorter durations.

“I tell patients to look forward to spring,” Benedict said. “Buy seeds for you summer garden and plant them. Caring for a plant can be helpful too.”

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • No confirmation of Philly papal visit PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Whether Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia during a major gathering of the world’s Roman Catholics remained a matter of speculation Friday after the archdiocese said a report he would attend should not be considered confirmation

    July 26, 2014

  • Islamic State destroys Jonah's Tomb in Mosul BAGHDAD (AP) — As Iraq selected a new president, Islamic militants blew up a revered Muslim shrine in Mosul traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah, several residents of the city told The Associated Press.The militants first or

    July 26, 2014

  • Police search Gary for tiger on the loose GARY, Ind. (AP) — Gary police searched the northwest Indiana city for a tiger after receiving several reports of a big cat on the loose.The reports began shortly before midnight Thursday and alleged sightings continued into Friday morning. Officers i

    July 26, 2014

  • Indy pulls support for Amtrak line INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis city officials have decided not to provide any additional money to subsidize an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago, casting its future into question.Last year, city leaders signed onto a one-year f

    July 26, 2014

  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at news@greensburgdailynews.com or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. All July – International Crafts

    July 26, 2014

  • nws-gb072614-gecom internship 1 photo Internship connects Greensburg students with Gecom jobs GREENSBURG — When Greensburg resident Zachary Couch, 20, was growing up, he enjoyed tinkering with machines, especially cars, and hoped to turn his interest into a career. Now, just a couple of months out of high school, he is working full-time, maki

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb072614-ymca 100 birthday pic Decatur County YMCA celebrating 100 years tonight GREENSBURG — By 7 p.m. tonight, the “mocktails” will be flowing.That’s when the Decatur County Family YMCA will hold Celebration 100, the third of its summer-long festivities to celebrate the 100th Birthday of this venerable Tree City institution.In

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Educators offer paths to student success GREENSBURG — What started as an internship program between the local high school and auto parts maker Gecom has evolved into a harbinger of closer cooperation among leaders in education and business.Started last August as as a pilot project with six

    July 26, 2014

  • Visa, Amazon pull stock market lower NEW YORK (AP) — Disappointing news on the American consumer, reflected in the results of retail giant Amazon and credit card processor Visa, dragged down the stock market Friday, putting two major indexes on course for a weekly loss.KEEPING SCORE: Th

    July 26, 2014

  • Thinking about health Tracy Hume, a freelance writer who lives in Greeley, Co., and a reader of Thinking About Health columns, recently sent along this provocative question. “Do ER-affiliated urgent care providers ever try to escalate patients to the ER when it is not med

    July 26, 2014