Relocation "Treatment" for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Moving to one of America’s sunniest spots may help those suffering from SAD

Seasonal affective disorder emotionally impacts millions of Americans every year (between 4-20% of the population, depending on who you ask), with women outnumbering men four to one. Also called “winter depression”, it usually begins in the autumn and last through the winter (although it can also occur during the summer). It frequently hits people in their early 20s and 30s, and will more often affect people living in latitudes north of 30°N, or south of 30°S (i.e. colder places with harsh winters and less sunshine). According to Wikipedia.org, “SAD is rare, if existent at all, in the tropics.”

People who find themselves losing interest in their usual activities, withdrawing from social activities, feeling sad or anxious, sleeping or eating more, or feeling irritability or heaviness in the arms and legs may have SAD. A variety of therapies exist to combat this disorder, including adding more vitamin D to a diet, using light therapy, and exercise. Another option may simply be to move to a sunnier city or town. If you’re just graduating from college or are close to retirement, why not consider moving to one of America’s sunniest spots?

According to Marcelle Pick, an OB/GYN nurse practitioner, getting outside every day “is one of the simplest ways to quickly ease the symptoms of seasonal depression.” Even spending as little as 15 minutes “connecting with nature” can be helpful, she says. Thus, folks who are not outdoorsy and typically don’t generally exercise outside, may find that if they move to the sunniest spot in the country, Yuma, Arizona, for example, they won’t need to change their routine that much—walking from the car to the office may offer enough exposure to offset winter depression. Direct sunlight through office windows is also beneficial. Or, if you’re an avid nature lover, you’ll find more opportunities to be outside if it’s sunny year-round.

To help you decide where the right spot is for you, the Internet relocation company, http://www.FindYourSpot.com, has come up with a list of 25 of the best sunny places to live in the United States. All excellent places to live and work, these top spots are ranked in order of highest percentages of sunny days for this article. Many of these cities and towns lie in the Southwest—Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado—desert regions, where annual precipitation is low. However, there are a few surprises, notably in California, Texas, and even Alabama.

Yuma, AZ: 90% sunny days;

Las Vegas, NV: 85% sunny days;

Phoenix, AZ: 85% sunny days;

Tucson, AZ: 85% sunny days;

El Paso, TX: 83% sunny days;

Flagstaff, AZ: 79% sunny days;

Reno, NV: 79% sunny days;

Sacramento, CA: 78% sunny days;

Albuquerque, NM: 76% sunny days;

Long Beach, CA: 73% sunny days;

Honolulu, HI: 71% sunny days;

Santa Barbara, CA: 85% sunny days;

Los Angeles, CA: 80% sunny days;

San Diego, CA: 73% sunny days;

Miami, FL: 70% sunny days;

Denver, CO: 69% sunny days;

Grand Junction, CO: 68% sunny days;

Salt Lake City, UT: 66% sunny days;

Cheyenne, WY: 66% sunny days;

Columbia, SC: 64% sunny days;

Boise, ID: 64% sunny days;

Rapid City, SD: 63% sunny days;

Little Rock, AR: 62% sunny days;

Charlotte, NC: 62% sunny days;

Topeka, KS: 61% sunny days;

Jackson, MS: 61% sunny days;

Birmingham, AL: 57% sunny days;

Resources

http://www.findyourspot.com

http://www.weatherexplained.com/Vol-1/Record-Setting-Weather.html

http://web2.airmail.net/danb1/usrecords.htm

http://www.chemheritage.org/educationalservices/pharm/chemo/activity/percent.htm

http://www.psychologyinfo.com/depression/sad.htm

[http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/1400/1484.asp?index=6412]

[http://www.womentowomen.com/depressionanxietyandmood/seasonalaffectivedisorder.asp]

http://www.hbci.com/~wenonah/new/sadlight.htm

Source by Lizzy Scully

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