Seasonal Affective Disorder, aptly referred to as SAD, is a form of depression that, as the name suggests, is linked to changes in the season. People who suffer from this condition usually experience it at the same time each year; they feel “normal” most of the time, but when the seasons change, the feelings of depression set in.
Typically, SAD affects people during the winter months; when the days are shorter and the weather is colder. Why? – Because people generally associate the light and warmth of the longer days of spring and summer with happiness, and the darker, colder days of winter with sadness, as they yearn for light and warmth. However, it should be noted that SAD can also affect individuals during the longer, warmer days of spring and summer.
The effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder can take hold without warning, and they can be quite severe. Some sufferers feel direly hopeless and helpless when the “spell” of this condition takes hold. And for those who spend a lot of time playing video games, the effects can be even more severe.
Video Games and Seasonal Affective Disorder
Several research studies have been conducted to determine the effects of video games on those who suffer from depression, such as SAD. While the findings of these studies do vary, it appears that playing video games can does have an adverse effect on all types of depression, including Seasonal Affective Disorder. Why? It appears that it is because the act of playing video games is isolating; players aren’t making physical connections with others, which can further compound the effects of depression.
Ways to Combat the Effects of Video Games on SAD
But, if you suffer from depression – including SAD – and you enjoy playing video games, that doesn’t mean you have to give up the pastime. There are ways that you can combat the effects that gaming has on your condition. For example, you can set up a SAD Lamp, lights that give off LUX and have been found to enhance the feelings of depression with just 30 minutes of daily exposure. Another option is to wear Light Therapy Glasses, specialized eyewear that is designed to reduce the effects of depression – and has been proven to offer effective results for those who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Lastly, using Red Light Therapy Devices, another tool that has been found to improve the symptoms that those who suffer from depression (including SAD) experience.
By utilizing these devices (one or all), you can significantly minimize the side effects that are associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you enjoy playing video games and don’t want your symptoms to be worsened – or you don’t want to give up your favorite pastime (playing video games) – then you might find that using the above-mentioned tools can be a highly effective way to help you avoid compounding the effects of SAD while gaming. As these tools have been proven to be effective for patients that suffer from this form of depression, it stands to reason that they would also be helpful for individuals who enjoy playing video games and experience depression at certain times of the year.
Summing It Up
While people who are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder generally only experience depression at certain times of the year, the effects of this condition can be devastating. Video games can only worsen the effects. But, by utilizing certain tools that are designed to – and proven to – reduce the side effects of depression, patients who suffer from SAD can find relief without having to put down the video game remote.