SAD + MS
Cozy up — darker, colder days are ahead. For those with MS who are affected by heat, winter offers a respite from the warmer months. For others, however, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may set in. It’s important to be able to tell the difference between SAD and MS, so you know how to best treat your symptoms.
MS and SAD have four major symptoms in common: fatigue, mood changes, problems focusing and sleep disorders (insomnia, sleeping too much or disrupted sleep).
The biggest difference is that SAD is most likely to occur around the same time each year. If you look back on your personal history, do these symptoms increase during winter or a specific season? Keeping a health or symptom journal can help you determine this, and bringing these findings to your healthcare professional may help you get the care you need.
There are also small things you can do to reduce some symptoms associated with SAD:
- Spend time outdoors each day, even if it’s cloudy.
- Eat right and exercise regularly.
- Look into light therapy, which involves using special lights that simulate natural light.