Diseases

Winter Blues: The advice of the specialist doctor

Interview with Dr. Laurent Chneiweiss, medical specialist, psychiatrist.

In absolute terms, how can you tell the difference between seasonal depression and the "simple" winter blues?
The blues of winter is a moderate accentuation of a seasonality that we know almost all. We speak of seasonal depression from the moment when there is a significant handicap: the individual can no longer, despite all his efforts, lead the same life as before. It is no longer a difficulty to get up in the morning, but an effort that often does not succeed. It is no longer a fatigue that, despite everything, allows to perform most of his daily tasks, but a real sleepiness that slows down gestures and spirit.

Why are some people more sensitive to this drop in brightness?
In general, affective disorders, whether depression or pathological anxiety, affect women more often. Seasonal affective disorder affects 80% of women, and in most cases women between 20 and 50 years old. It is generally considered that depressed women are twice as numerous as depressed men.

Can it be dangerous to use light therapy?
Light therapy is safe. Only a few patients with extremely rare retinal pathologies can be affected. The lamps do not heat (therefore no risk of drying out the cornea), and do not diffuse ultraviolet radiation (so no risk to the skin). This is not a reason to use it anyhow. Light is the signal that synchronizes the outside world and the internal biological clock. This signal goes through the retina and you should not wear sunglasses, otherwise you will be completely ineffective. On the other hand, light causes significant stimulation. It must therefore be used in the morning. Exposing oneself at night may cause insomnia.

Can you give some advice to those who know they are subject to this blues?
If you are subject to winter blues, start getting ready in the summer. Exercise in the morning (the better is jogging), balance your diet by reducing fat and what was called before fast sugars. Always in the summer or spring, take the time to observe yourself when you are tired. Make the difference between what is possible to do or not. You will avoid giving in to the temptation to think "all or nothing" in winter when you are tired. Fatigue does not prevent you from doing everything, it only hinders a part of the activities.
Finally, as we have seen above, light therapy is safe and has shown its effectiveness. His only real constraint is the time required to pass in front of the lamp: half an hour is not always easy to find in the morning. But it is surely the best investment to realize.

Popular Posts

Category Diseases, Next Article

Osteoarthritis: treatments - Diseases
Diseases

Osteoarthritis: treatments

The treatments are primarily symptomatic, to relieve the pain related to osteoarthritis. > Paracetamol: When the pain is not too great, paracetamol can relieve. When there is no inflammation of the joint, the efficacy of paracetamol may be sufficient. It is also well tolerated by the digestive system
Read More
Asthma: treatments - Diseases
Diseases

Asthma: treatments

We can mainly distinguish the treatment of an asthma attack and the background treatment. Treatment of the asthma attack When the crisis is mild, the asthmatic patient uses bronchodilators in metered dose spray, a puff of medication usually goes through the crisis. It is possible to renew the treatment
Read More
Kidney diseases - Diseases
Diseases

Kidney diseases

The kidneys have many functions in the body. The two main ones are to eliminate toxic products from the body through the production of urine, and produce hormones. However, the kidney can suffer from different diseases. The most serious of course is when the functions of the kidneys are irreversibly altered in case of chronic renal failure
Read More
Keratitis - Diseases
Diseases

Keratitis

Keratitis is the alteration of the cornea, that is, the transparent anterior part of the eyeball. It should not be confused with a conjunctivitis that affects the conjunctiva (what is called the white of the eye in everyday language) and is a very thin membrane that covers the front of the eye ... Conjunctivitis can associate or evolve into keratitis
Read More