Sometimes known as ‘the winter blues,’ seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a very real health issue. In Revelstoke, with it’s short and dark winter days, SAD is common.
That’s why Revelstoke sisters Talia and Theresa Camozzi decided to combine their knowledge to write a self-help book on SAD.
Called Healing Winter SAD, the book provides insight and knowledge on the latest research about SAD, as well as gives a blueprint for individuals suffering from SAD can use either by themselves, or with their care teams.
Talia is a registered clinical counsellor, while Theresa is a naturopathic doctor, making them well-qualified to write about a book about SAD.
The two recently took time to speak with freelancer Melissa Jameson about their book.
What made you want to write a book on SAD?
Theresa: “We were talking about our various approaches and what works and what doesn’t and we both just wished everyone could see both of us. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel with winter SAD. It’s not as complicated as some of the other things we treat, so it lends itself well to being in a book. It’s very treatable too.”
Talia: “Something like winter SAD, which is a lot of the same information for people, we thought why don’t we put what we know together and people can create a pretty robust self-care plan. For sure, a lot of people will be able to use it with their medical team, and their wellness team, but it gives a really good starting point.”
Can you speak a little bit about winter SAD in Revelstoke?
Talia: “I’d say some of the people we think are doing the most well because they present a good picture are some of the people who are struggling the most, and they’ve just learned because they’ve been struggling so long. Sometimes when we’re feeling low, especially when we have something like winter SAD, it can seem like we’re very much alone. There are people you would never guess are struggling, because to the outside world they’re doing so well. One of the things we really included in the book is light therapy because light is so important.”
Theresa: “One other thing I would add, it seems that people who have had a change of situation the year before or leading up to the winter seem to be more at risk. So someone who has maybe had an injury and can’t do the normal activities they would do, someone who’s had a baby, somebody who has moved here from a different climate, it seems to put them more at risk.”
“What I’ve seen, because I treat a lot of women, and they will have a lot of other things going on in their lives and a lot of other priorities and responsibilities, if they’ve dealt with it for a number of years it won’t be very high on their priority list because they know that spring is coming eventually and they just are dealing with it. I think we also have a culture in Revelstoke that’s very physical-achievement oriented, and often quite competitive.”
In the book you include several areas of focus: physical, mental, and spiritual. Why did you feel it was important to include all three?
Theresa: “I find that if you use complementary things together it makes them more effective. There were studies on light therapy and adding it with cognitive behavioural therapy counselling. Participants in the study had either light therapy alone, counselling alone, or a combination of the two. They followed up with everybody the year after and they found the remission rate for light therapy and counselling combined was less than the other two groups. I’ve found that in any of the work I do that if you can get the mind, body, and spirit going in the same direction you get a better result.”
Talia: “I think sometimes you want to have an approach that fixes symptoms and we often think of symptoms as being fixable by a physical intervention like our diet or a pill. When we ignore that we really are mental people as well there’s only so much healing our bodies can do.”
Healing Winter Sad is available online by visiting healingwintersad.com.