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Do you suffer from SAD?

Are you missing the sun? I don't know about you, but I always find my energy levels and mood become lower during the short, grey days of winter. Our Guest blogger, Holistic Therapist, Helen Buckley, was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder in her teens. She shares some of her thoughts and tactics on this common problem here.

Season Affective Disorder or more commonly known as SAD is described as a form of depression that has a seasonal trend. It is estimated that 29% of the population suffer from it with women 40% more like to suffer from it. Of the population 8% suffer from acute symptoms and the remaining 21% of sufferers with mild symptoms.

Symptoms tend to increase during the winter months with some rare occasions of summer months causing SAD symptoms.  The cause is thought to be the reduced hours of sunlight that increases the production of melatonin which increases the requirement to sleep, lowers serotonin which increases appetite and disrupts the body’s...

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7 Ways to Support Someone who is Depressed

If someone you care about is in the throes of a bout of depression it can be really difficult to know how to support them. I've been clinically depressed myself and I've supported people who are depressed, so I have experience of this horrible condition from both sides as both carer and cared for.

I've been talking to fellow sufferers and, drawing on their experience and my own, here are my tips on how to support someone who is depressed:

  1. LISTEN Don't try to "fix" them. It's tempting to try to come up with solutions - "why don't you..." "Look at it like this..." but actually, it can be really unhelpful. The best thing is to listen - really, really listen. You can reflect back what they have said to you so that they know you have heard them, but don't go overboard! The very act of being willing to listen can be a huge help.
  2. ASK THEM WHAT THEY NEED They might not know, but the fact that you are willing to ask can be comforting. If they do know, then act on it. They...
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I'm Fine, Thanks

I'm fine, thanks. That's what we say, isn't it, when asked how are you? I'm fine, thanks. But what if you're not? What if you are sinking, struggling, not fine at all?

I live a fairly public life insofar as I have written about myself on blogs and in books, I show up regularly on Facebook live videos, on Youtube and, now, on the new Midlife Movement Podcast. Most people know me as optimistic, generally happy, always smiling.

If you follow my output regularly, though, you will know that I have had my battles with anxiety and depression throughout my life at various points. I always know when I'm starting to "slide".

There are warning signs that I dare not ignore. These include:

  • Staying up late into the night, usually working to distract myself
  • Not wanting to get up in the morning (and not just because I'm tired after staying up late!)
  • I don't want to shower (I do - I promise!)
  • I don't want to talk to people
  • I put off returning messages, or making phone calls
  • I feel as if I need...
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