Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and Coping with Daylight Saving Time

3 Flares Twitter 3 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Pin It Share 0 LinkedIn 0 StumbleUpon 0 Email 3 Flares ×

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Coping with Daylight Saving Time

The clocks “fall back” November 1, 2015 which means that there will be less day lightMany people chalk up feeling blue in winter as simply a fact of cold weather and lack of sunshine. But 4 to 6 percent of people may have a winter depression which is clinically referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Another 10 to 20 percent may have mild SAD. SAD is four times more common in women than in men. Although some children and teenagers get SAD, it usually doesn’t start in people younger than age 20. Your chance of getting SAD goes down as you get older. SAD is also more common the farther north you go. For example, it’s seven times more common in Washington State than in Florida. Dr. Sanam Hafeez ( is a neuro-Psychologist in NYC (Manhattan and Forest Hills, Queens), and treats patients in her practice who display and express mood changes once October rolls around. 

Dr. Hafeez explains that, “In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. However, some people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.” 

The following are symptoms to look for to see if you are suffering from SAD 




Loss of energy

Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs

Social withdrawal


Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed

Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates

Weight gain

Difficulty concentrating

How is SAD treated?

Many people with SAD will find that their symptoms respond to a very specific treatment called bright light therapy. For people who are not severely depressed and are unable—or unwilling—to use antidepressant medications, light therapy may be the best initial treatment option says Dr. Hafeez.

Light therapy consists of regular, daily exposure to a “light box,” which artificially simulates high-intensity sunlight. Practically, this means that a person will spend approximately 30 minutes sitting in front of this device shortly after they awaken in the morning. If patients do not improve, a second exposure of 20-30 minutes may be added in the early afternoon.  Treatment usually continues from the time of year that a person’s symptoms begin, such as in fall, on a daily basis throughout the winter months. Because light boxes are created to provide a specific type of light, they are expensive and may not be covered by insurance. Unfortunately, having lots of lamps in one’s house and spending extra time outside is not as effective as this more expensive treatment.

Dr. Hafeez states that, “Side effects of light therapy are uncommon and usually reversible when the intensity of light therapy is decreased. The most commonly experienced side effects include irritability, eyestrain, headaches, nausea and fatigue.”

Scientific studies have shown light therapy to be very effective when compared to placebo and as effective as antidepressants in many cases of non-severe SAD. Light therapy may also work faster than antidepressants for some people with notable effects beginning with in a few days of starting treatment. Other people may find that it takes a few weeks for light therapy to work, which can also be the case for most people who take antidepressant medications. Although not explicitly recommended, some people may elect for treatment with both light therapy and antidepressant medications.  The combination of these treatments may be synergistic and a more robust way to address the symptoms of SAD.

In her practice Dr. Hafeez has found that antidepressant medications have been useful in treating people with SAD. Of the antidepressants, fluoxetine (Prozac) and bupropion (Wellbutrin) have been studied in the treatment of SAD and shown to be effective. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved these medications for treatment of major depressive disorder.  Dr. Hafeez cautions that, “Any person considering treatment with an antidepressant medication should discuss the benefits and risks of treatment with their doctors.”

Individuals with a predisposition to bipolar disorder should be more cautious in approaching treatment for SAD and depression in general. Light therapy, like antidepressant therapy has been associated with increased risk of experiencing a manic episode. The specifics of this are beyond the scope of this review and again, should be discussed with one’s doctors.

Finally, a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, a good diet and a strong social network, is also likely to help you cope with SAD.

The Cubicle Chick


How One Seasonal Staple Creates Year-Round, Enduring Customer Relationships


How Ocean Spray Creates Continuous Customer Relationships

Author: Mike Stocker

What’s small and red and tart and Americans eat 10.8 Billion of each holiday season? That’s right—Cranberries!

I want to explore how the Ocean Spray collective, the sellers of a holiday dinner staple—the dark red tube of cranberry goodness (cranberry sauce)—thinks about marketing a holiday-favorite throughout the whole year (Hint: it *might* have to do with engagement).

A little history

Here’s a little history on cranberry sauce and the Ocean Spray collective before we dive into a marketing focus.

Cranberry industry folklore tells us that the cranberry was a seasonal fruit until about 100 years ago when an enterprising lawyer-turned-grower named Marcus L. Urann realized that the berries he harvested exceeded demand. Urann hated to see good fruit go to waste, so he perfected a tasty sauce that he canned and called Ocean Spray starting in 1912. The Ocean Spray Cooperative was formed 18 years later, and the “log” or jellied cranberry sauce became an example of industry innovation and has driven cranberry sales ever since.

A global billion-dollar business

Since Ocean Spray’s founding in 1930, their big vision for the tart little cranberry has translated into tremendous growth—over the past 10 years, the Cooperative’s sales have nearly doubled in size to $ 2.2 billion.

The marketing efforts driving this billion-dollar business

Here at Marketo, we talk about the Era of Engagement Marketing with these principles to guide companies on how to engage their buyers:

  • As individuals
  • Based on what they do
  • Continuously over time
  • Wherever they are
  • Always directed towards a goal
  • With measurable impact
  • At the speed of digital

After learning about the Ocean Spray story, and observing how they market, I believe they do a great job engaging their customers and buyers. I want to recognize the great work they have done and continue to do—especially how they market to buyers continuously over time, and how they market to buyers wherever they are.

Continuously Over Time

The little cranberry is no longer just a holiday-centered product. Americans consume over 400 million pounds of cranberries each year, and while 20% of those are consumed as part of Thanksgiving festivities, this uniquely American fruit is now popular all year and all over the world.

This quote from an Ocean Spray blog ( post states their dedication, out in the open for everyone to see:

“At Ocean Spray we are committed to continuing to improve our capabilities; receiving and storing fruit, manufacturing, and distributing products and building an enduring relationship with consumers.”

Wherever they are 

Ocean Spray has developed several marketing channels and efforts to reach their customers. From TV commercials (think the old guy in the cranberry bog), to email marketing with their “Cranberry Club”, to their blog and inserts in local periodicals, newspapers, store marketing and more—Ocean Spray markets to buyers wherever they are and seeks to build continuous relationships over time so people feel connected to them and buy cranberry products all year round.

I joined the email based cranberry club in July of this year and was able to see what Ocean Spray sends to consumers. This email newsletter is sent approximately once a month and contains creative recipes, coupons and more.

Ocean Spray Email Communications


Club Cranberry_Ocean Spray Engagement Marketing

In the spirit of providing a continuous experience across channels, Ocean Spray also uses their great website and blog to reach customers. They have excellent TV commercials (Bog Men commercial below) and they do several in-person events. Lastly, they have also invested in an active social presence on Facebook (Over 1MM Likes) and Twitter (20k followers).

Ocean Spray- Bog Men Commercial


I’m impressed with how Ocean Spray has turned this little fruit into not just a holiday item, but into a year round billion-dollar business by looking to the future of marketing and practicing great marketing techniques.

Learn more about the principles of engagement marketing in our ebook: The 7 Principles of Engagement Marketing.

But, let’s hear from you—what organizations do you see doing a great job engaging with their customers? Please share in the comments below.

How One Seasonal Staple Creates Year-Round, Enduring Customer Relationships was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. |

Marketo Marketing Blog