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      Orange County Expert Asks Are You “Sad”? Explains Feelings Could be Linked to Change of Season in Irvine

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      November 30, 2019

      Saturday  10:30 AM

      Irvine, California, United States
      Irvine, California

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      Orange County Expert Asks Are You “Sad”? Explains Feelings Could be Linked to Change of Season

      Now that we’ve wound back our clocks resulting in earlier sunsets, there is a segment of the population that will experience a medical condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the American Psychiatric Association, approximately 5% of Americans experience SAD (also known as major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern) with an additional 10 to 15% experiencing a milder form of it. The condition can affect sufferers for as much as 40% of the year.
      Robert Myers, PhD., a psychologist on staff at Brand New Day, a Medicare Advantage prescription health plan available in 12 California counties, says that you may have SAD if you are experiencing the following symptoms due to a change in seasons:

      · feeling anxious without cause
      · feeling guilt and worthlessness
      · experiencing greater levels of stress and irritability
      · difficulty making decisions
      · difficulty concentrating
      · lower sex drive
      · pacing and other forms of restless activity
      · crying for no apparent reason
      · excessive tiredness
      · sleeping too long
      · increased appetite
      · isolating yourself from friends and family
      · overeating
      · suicidal ideation

      “Although we don’t know why some people experience SAD, we do know that seasonal changes in sunlight can affect our internal biological clocks and that can affect mood. Also, our levels of serotonin, a chemical in the brain that regulates mood, typically drops during the winter,” says Myers, who revealed that the severity of SAD can vary greatly from person to person. “We’ve also learned that women are four times more likely to develop SAD than men, young people are more susceptible than older adults, and odds increase if you have a family history of SAD.”
      The team at Brand New Day offer the following suggestions for those who may have SAD:

      · Increase exposure to sunlight by opening blinds and curtains, trimming trees around the house and sitting closer to windows during the daytime
      · Exercise outdoors when it’s still light out
      · Lightbox therapy for 20–60 minutes per day. Make sure the Lightbox is created expressly for alleviating SAD symptoms as ultraviolet lamps, full spectrum lights and tanning lamps will not have the same effect
      · Increase your vitamin D level by taking supplements. Since the body produces vitamin D after exposure to sunlight, getting less light during the winter months could trigger SAD
      · Adhere to a balanced, nutritious diet and avoid caffeine, soda and alcohol

      Myers says that if taking these steps does not alleviate your SAD symptoms, psychotherapy or medication may be in order.
      Brand New Day’s Harmony Plan addresses members with a wide range of conditions including major depression, schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder and paranoid disorder. In addition, Brand New Day offers the Embrace Plan for those with heart disease, hypertension and/or diabetes, and Bridges for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Members with chronic illnesses are not only treated medically, but in a variety of other ways including:

      · Education about the member’s chronic or ongoing medical conditions and avoidable risks
      · Nutrition
      · Exercise
      · Self-testing and monitoring
      · Medication adherence to doctor orders
      · Preventive care planning
      · Linkage to community support programs

      For qualifying members, it covers transportation to and from medical appointments; vision, dental and acupuncture services; 24-hour/day nurse and physician line; and health and life coaches.
      Brand New Day is the Medicare product name of Universal Care, Inc., a privately held California Knox-Keene Healthcare Service Plan licensed by the California Department of Managed Health Care and contracted with the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services as a Medicare Advantage contractor. Universal Care, Inc. is owned and operated by an experienced group of managed care executives and physicians. Universal Care, Inc. was founded in 1983. For more information, visit

      Categories: Health & Wellness

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