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
  • 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. April 22 1 to 3 p.m. - Euchre at

    April 19, 2014

  • Hoosiers need to move over for workers GREENSBURG - Hoosiers need to slow down and move over to allow a cushion of space for vehicles stopped on the road's shoulder, particularly on the interstates. National Work Zone Awareness Week was last week and the 17th anniversary of Indiana State

    April 19, 2014

  • Lunch Menus April 21 – April 25 Good Shepherd Christian Academy Monday - Pizza, grape tomatoes, strawberries and cake, milk Tuesday - Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, ice cream, milk Wednesday - Chicken nuggets, tater tots, green beans, casserole, applesauce, milk Thu

    April 19, 2014

  • Graduation rates high GREENSBURG -- Greensburg and South Decatur High schools had among the best graduation rates in the state last year. North Decatur High School ranked near the middle, but still above the state average. Greensburg reported a graduation rate of 99.3 per

    April 19, 2014

  • nws-gb041914-pig virus photo Pig virus taking toll GREENSBURG -- When Decatur County farmer Jeff Smiley ducked into the nursery barn, about two dozen piglets rushed into a corner of their pen, their pinkish hides bouncing into one another like a porcine version of bumper cars. The piglet's round nose

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb041914-santee fire station - pic1 (please place on pg1) Clarksburg Vol. Fire Department breaks ground on Station 2 CLARKSBURG -- In 2012, members of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) Board of Directors proposed building a new Firehouse to service the Lake Santee Community. CVFD Board President Wayne Geiss recalls that construction of a separate Fire

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • A pedicure that cured all my pet peeves Since I was a young person, I always had some pets around. Most of these have been dogs, hunting dogs in particular. And I loved my pets. In getting older, I discovered that having a pet dog around is a lot of work. More work than I care to do in lig

    April 19, 2014

  • Church Briefs Liberty Baptist Church Sunday, April 20 - Resurrection Sunday Liberty Baptist Church will have Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. in the Sanctuary, with the women doing the program. Following the Sunrise service the men of the congregation will serve Easter B

    April 19, 2014

  • Cards RHP Kelly on DL WASHINGTON -- St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Cardinals also optioned righty reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie right-handers Eric Forn

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-ymca flat rock - pic2 Local retreat mostly unknown around Decatur County ST. PAUL -- Out in the northwest corner of Decatur County lies a place that's largely unknown within the county itself. Oddly enough, this hideaway of natural splendor is anything but secret to the rest of the world. From Spain and Hong Kong they com

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos