Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that people experience at a particular time of year or during a particular season. It is a recognised mental health disorder.
Most of us are affected by the change in seasons – it is normal to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, or to find that you eat more or sleep longer in winter.
However, if you experience SAD, the change in seasons will have a much greater effect on your mood and energy levels, and lead to symptoms of depression that may have a significant impact on your day-to-day life. Many people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Floatation therapy can help tremendously, especially during the beginning and middle of winter when weather is harsh.
What Is SAD?
SAD is a disorder that strikes most often during the change of seasons. SAD causes depression, usually at the onset of fall and throughout the winter season. SAD sufferers report a decrease in energy and an increase in moodiness. Other symptoms include oversleeping or problems sleeping, trouble concentrating, change in appetite, and feelings of worthlessness.
Some people are more susceptible to SAD, including women, younger people, those diagnosed with bipolar disorder or clinical depression, and anyone with a family history. People living in locations with harsh winters are also at increased risk. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, seek help. You do not have to live with depression.
The most common forms of treatment are light therapy (phototherapy), medication, and psychotherapy. However, floatation therapy is showing positive results for combatting SAD.
How Floatation Therapy Helps
Floatation therapy diminishes SAD symptoms through Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy (REST). Floating removes gravity, light, and sound from the user. By removing all stimuli, including the cause of depression, the mind and body are free to focus on other things.
It may seem counterproductive to remove light from a person with SAD, but some researchers feel SAD is less about lack of sunlight and more about the prohibitive nature of cold weather.
Without external stimuli, the brain instantly begins generating a multitude of stimuli. Shapes and patterns appear and morph in the person’s mind. The visual cortex becomes highly active. These hallucinations are not limited to visuals; many experience auditory stimulation. Sounds may drift near and far and transform into music.
Essentially, the depressed brain enjoys a break from the constant influx of negative sensory stimuli experienced with the change of season. This break has many positive, lasting effects on the person’s state of mind.
Transition to Creativity
Another common result of floating is an increase in creative thinking. This happens because the body and mind are relaxed. It slips into a deep meditative state, encouraged to explore new ideas. Body rejuvenation and weightlessness free the mind from physical discomfort and negative stimuli.
Creative thinking combats depression by boosting energy and positivity. It also improves self-esteem and motivation, which fights depression. Ruminating on creative thought patterns for a short period has long-lasting effects.
Most people who use floatation therapy report how the positive effects last for a long time after they finish a session. Some individuals with extreme depression and other mental illnesses find that their conditions are resistant to conventional treatments. However, the deep relaxation, sense of timelessness, improved sleep, and feeling of wellbeing following a float are effective for treating some of these conditions, such as PTSD and anxiety disorders.
Those suffering from depression and SAD should consider floatation therapy as an alternative to drugs or for use in tandem with other treatments. While every patient will likely require a unique solution, the benefits afforded by floatation therapy are undeniable. There are no negative side effects, so contact us today for information and to schedule your appointment at Floating Point Float Centre.