How to help a person with SAD

Sometimes family and friends are not sure how to help someone who is experiencing symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Here are some suggestions for helping someone with SAD:

  • Spend time with your loved one even though the person may be withdrawn or quiet.
  • Remind the person that he or she will feel better with treatment and time.
  • Offer to help with daily tasks that temporarily may be too difficult to do alone. It is important, however, that you do not enable the person to remain in the depressive episode by taking over all of the daily responsibilities.
  • Take a walk or do some other type of exercise activity together. Getting out in the morning sunlight for a walk may be helpful.
  • Help the person to stick with the prescribed treatment plan.

If you have questions or concerns about this, talk with a health professional about what you can do to help a family member who is depressed due to SAD.

Last Updated: August 8, 2008

Author: Caroline Rea, RN, BS, MS & Jeannette Curtis

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Alfred Lewy, MD, PhD - Psychiatry

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