Work With The Sunlight
While the light might be limited during the day, many people have found it helpful to catch the glimpses of sunlight they do have. Adjusting your schedule to wake up earlier and go to bed closer to when the sun sets, can give you more daylight to work with each week. And having a consistent sleep schedule that aligns with the sun can help lessen insomnia.
People have also seen benefits to buying a lightbox or sun lamp. Light therapy can be especially effective in the cold mornings, helping to lift up your mood when working throughout the day. However, scientists are still learning more about this treatment and Seasonal Affective Disorder as it gains popularity.
BU Today talked to Sanford Auerbach, a School of Medicine associate professor of neurology and psychiatry and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Boston Medical Center on how to distinguish between SAD and ordinary sadness, possible treatments, and what scientists know about the underlying causes of the disorder. Read about it here.
Get Out Into The Winter World
You could be forgiven for thinking this is just me being sadistic, but I swear it’s true: going outside, properly wrapped up, and taking a long walk is supposed to help with winter depressive symptoms â particularly if you can manage to do it in a natural area or with friends or family. The combination of exercise, fresh air and a stress-free environments without too many distractions seems to help seasonal depression immensely. Throw in a snowball fight and you may as well be set for life. So wrap up warmly and skip checking your phone for the duration of the walk, and you may find your mood lightening, even as the sky stays dark.
Images: Rocksana Rocksana/Unsplash Giphy
Ways To Cope With Seasonal Depression For Sustained Mental Health
Depression in itself is a tough condition to swerve through. Add in some seasonal prospects of feeling low and you are completely stuck in a quagmire, arent you? In order to cope around with seasonal depression, it is important that you acknowledge the problem in the first place.
You will be stunned to know that one of the major reasons of the heightened risks of depression is because they either fail to understand the symptoms or lack the professional guidance to pull them out of their misery altogether.
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How Is Sad Diagnosed
Depression often happens with other conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. It may also happen with other mood disorders, such as substance abuse or anxiety. For these reasons, early diagnosis and treatment is key to recovery.
A diagnosis of SAD may be made after a careful mental health exam and medical history done by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
Eat Well And Watch Out For The Carbs
Research has shown that individuals with SAD tend to eat more carbohydrate-rich foods, especially sweets and starchy foods. They also have a tendency to overeat during these periods of seasonal lows, so its important that they look after their diets in order to feel more energized.
Over the winter months, as we get less and less sunlight, vitamin D is
Some studies also suggest that people with mood disorders may have an omega-3 fatty acid deficit, and so supplementation of this nutrient may help to keep symptoms in check.
According to the National Institutes of Health , some good food of omega-3 include various types of fish , chia seeds, flaxseed, and soybean.
Also, research published last year in the American Journal of Public Health points to fruit and vegetables as the foods of choice when it comes to increasing happiness and well-being.
Eating fruit and vegetables apparently boosts our happiness far more quickly than it improves human health, notes study co-author Prof. Andrew Oswald.
The psychological benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption were confirmed by a
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Natural Home Remedies For Seasonal Affective Disorder
Winter depression is not only a symptom of emotional distress, but also a form of emotional disturbance. In winter, low temperatures and gloomy daylight make most people feel more sluggish, saddened or stuck in a fear that they even do not know the cause of them. According to psychologists, these are typical symptoms of a person with seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that usually occurs in the winter.
The disease is not life threatening, but it causes a lot of trouble for you. It make you cannot enjoy your life. I know that the reason you are reading this article of 10 Natural Home Remedies For Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment is to learn how to treat this problem at home, but before that, you had better understand some basic information about this problem. That way, you can deal with it the right way.
Final Thoughts On Ways To Overcome Seasonal Depression
We hope this article can help you find a treatment option for seasonal affective disorder that works for you. Because SAD can mimic other disorders such as hypothyroidism, mononucleosis, and bipolar disorder, its important to get tested by a doctor to rule out these conditions. He or she will ask when you typically feel symptoms. If you get them year-round, you probably dont have SAD, but you might have another form of depression.
If the natural options listed above still dont seem to work, then you may need to seek talk therapy or medication in order to treat SAD. Never feel ashamed to get help for a mental disorder. Many others are suffering, too, and youre not alone in how you feel. Wintertime and summertime depression can severely impact your daily life, so seek treatment if something doesnt feel right to you. Your mental health comes first, so make sure to take care of yourself and get the help you need before symptoms become aggressive.
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Tip : Take Steps To Deal With Stress
Whatever the time of year, too much stress can exacerbate or even trigger depression.
Figure out the things in your life that stress you out, such as work overload or unsupportive relationships, and make a plan to avoid them or minimize their impact.
Practicing daily relaxation techniques can help you manage stress, reduce negative emotions such as anger and fear, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.
Do something you enjoy every day. While you cant force yourself to have fun or experience pleasure, you can push yourself to do things, even when you dont feel like it. You might be surprised at how much better you feel once youre out and about. Having fun is a great stress buster, so make time for leisure activities that bring you joy, whether it be painting, playing the piano, working on your car, or simply hanging out with friends.
How Seasonal Affective Disorder Is Diagnosed
Your physician may conduct a full physical exam. This is important to make sure your mental health concerns arent tied to an underlying physical health problem. Its not unusual for someone with a physical issue to develop a mental health condition if the physical issue adversely impacts their quality of life.
Your physician or mental health professional may order bloodwork, as many underlying medical illnesses can look like mental health issues. For example, if you have a low thyroid count, this could present as a mental health problem. If you can treat the physical health problem, your mental health issues may improve as well.
They will also ask you about your symptoms, wanting to know when the symptoms started, the order in which the symptoms appeared, and any changes in your behavior that may have made the symptoms better or worse.
Your health care provider will compare your medical history and the results of your physical exam to a set of diagnostic criteria to see if you should be diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder. Theyll need to have accurate information to help you formulate a treatment plan.
Its helpful to keep the following points in mind when speaking to your mental health professional:
If you or a loved one needs help managing depression, McLean is here to help. Contact us today at to learn more about treatment options.
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How To Deal With Seasonal Depression
Dealing with depression isnt necessarily an easy way of life. The condition does have the possibility of taking a toll on ones mental health and that too, for the worse. It is very important to ensure that you do opt for the natural remedies for seasonal depression which works wonders for this.
Whatever the condition be, it is important not to take everything lightly and do opt for ways to fight off the condition altogether and come out of it stronger in the end.
In here, we are going to be sharing some of the effective ways and cure for seasonal depression that can come in handy for you.
Take A Vitamin D Supplement
The last thing to do that can help curb the negative impacts of SAD is taking a daily Vitamin D supplement. Since you cant get this vitamin at the ideal amounts naturally in the winter, take a pill . As mentioned, its been studied that theres a link between Vitamin D deficiency and SAD in those impacted. In taking a supplement, it will help to counteract the effects of less sunlight to better balance your brain chemicals.
In the end, the best way to overcome seasonal depression and the associated SAD symptoms is to face it head-on. You can try to tackle the issues yourself with my suggested remedies as a potentially effective treatment or consult with your doctor.
Its time to live your happiest, healthiest, and most beautiful life all year round which starts by taking my free healing quiz at .
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What Are The Causes Of Seasonal Affective Disorder
The exact cause of SAD is unknown. Contributing factors can vary from person to person. However, people who live in parts of the country that have long winter nights and less sunlight are more likely to experience the condition. For example, SAD is more common in Canada and Alaska than in sunnier Florida.
Light is thought to influence SAD. One theory is that decreased sunlight exposure affects the natural biological clock that regulates hormones, sleep, and moods. Another theory is that light-dependent brain chemicals are more greatly affected in those with SAD.
People whose family members have a history of psychological conditions are also at greater risk for SAD.
While SAD affects people differently, symptoms most commonly begin in October or November and end in March or April. However, its possible to experience symptoms before or after this time.
In general, there are two types of SAD: wintertime and summertime.
Symptoms of wintertime SAD include:
- daytime fatigue
- lack of interest in social activities
A doctor may recommend several tests to rule out these conditions before they can diagnose SAD, such as thyroid hormone testing with a simple blood test.
A doctor or psychiatrist will ask you several questions about your symptoms and when you first noticed them. People with SAD tend to experience symptoms every year. Its not typically related to an emotional event, such as the end of a romantic relationship.
Ways To Overcome Seasonal Depression
Anyone can experience seasonal affective disorder also known as seasonal depression.
This type of depression is related to the changing seasons.
Many people experience seasonal depression during the winter months however, it can be experienced during other seasons as well.
Instead of chalking this feeling up to just having the “winter blues” let’s take a look at some ways professionals use to not only help others overcome seasonal depression but also keep their mood improved all throughout the year.
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What Is Seasonal Depression / Seasonal Affective Disorder
Before we begin, I must advise anyone who is reading this to please seek professional help if needed. I am by no means trying to replace the professional advice of any medical doctor or professional.
So, think you might be experiencing seasonal disorder, but unsure of what exactly it means? SAD is a type of depression that is directly affected by changes in the season.
Prioritize Social Activities For Your Wellbeing
Feelings of isolation are common for those experiencing SAD. Thats why reaching out to friends and family for social support is so important. Here are a few simple ways to prioritize social activities:
- Engage in consistent social activities so you regularly have something to look forward to
- Join a support group for those with depression
- Meet new people by taking a class or joining a club
- Engage in volunteer work
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Try An Exercise Program
Most people spend less time outside and as a result, their levels of physical activity decrease. However, if you think you might be experiencing SAD, exercise could be a good way to combat it.
Moving your body will compete with that tendency to be sluggish and can produce good brain chemistry, says Dr. Bea.
Consider indoor activities that youd enjoy. You might try yoga or running on a treadmill. If youre feeling more adventurous and want to brave the elements, go skiing or snowshoeing to make the most of the cold weather.
Why Is It Important To Seek Treatment If You Have Sad
SAD is more than just winter blues, says Hanne Hoffman, Ph.D., assistant professor at Michigan State University and principal investigator in the Hoffman Lab, which studies how light impacts well-being, mood, and changes in brain function. Symptoms of the condition can be distressing and overwhelming and can interfere with daily functioning, she says.
Mood disorder expert Andrew Leuchter, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and director of the Neuromodulation Division at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, stresses that its really important to think about SAD in the same way we think about depression and other kinds of illnesses.
Just like any other form of depression, we would want to treat it, he adds.
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Dont Give In To Reclusiveness
On those dark, cold days, you may be sorely tempted to just stay inside and hide from the weather and world alike. If you have more severe SAD symptoms, going out may seem unachievable, but if you want to keep the low moods and lethargy at bay, then you should do your best to resist these solitary tendencies.
Much the same as light exercise, studies show that a leisurely walk in the great outdoors can improve your mood and well-being.
Just taking one moment every day to notice a detail in your natural surroundings, and asking yourself what feelings it elicits, can make you feel happier and more sociable, according to research from the University of British Columbia in Canada.
The American Psychological Association advise that you keep in touch with friends and family, go out with them, and speak to trusted people about what youre experiencing. Enlisting someone elses help in keeping you active, and helping you get out of your shell during the cold months, may make it easier to cope with the effects of SAD.
Advice regarding how best to cope with SAD from Johns Hopkins Medicine also includes finding a winter-appropriate hobby that will both keep you busy and give you pleasure, such as a DIY project or a winter sport.
If you experience SAD, let us know what your strategy is for managing the symptoms and making the most of the holiday season.
Spend Some Time With Friends And Family
When it comes down to the managing and to cope with seasonal depression, it is very important to ensure that you look out for ways to spend more quality time with your friends and family.
It is often hard to see and meet people when you are already upset and feeling down. Instead of letting those emotions take over, it is important that you do seek out some quality time to spend with your friends and family. It might be a very difficult thing to do but ensure that you take that initiative for your personal gain.
Try and make a list of things that you love doing and indulge in getting the same done without any kind of inhibitions. It is important to push yourself even if you are not feeling up for it because it does help.
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Exercise To Boost Feel
Whether you want to bundle up and get outside or simply hit an indoor treadmill, exercise is one of the best ways to boost feel-good brain chemicals. Even something as simple as walking for 30-60 minutes can help boost serotonin and endorphins.
HelpGuide even says, exercise can treat mild to moderate depression as effectively as antidepressant medication. Exercise can also help to improve your sleep and boost your self-esteem. Additionally, any sort of exercise that helps you get sunlight will help improve your mood.
At What Point Is It Necessary To See A Doctor
Most people with SAD have experienced the winter shift for years before identifying the seasonal pattern. And because they can firmly anticipate feeling better after several months, they may brush it off as a temporary burden, even though they can become quite dysfunctional. Others have sought treatment with antidepressants, often unnecessarily maintained year-round, because neither they nor their doctors have put a finger on the seasonal timing.
If symptoms are severe, that should prompt consultation with a primary care physician, a psychiatrist, or other mental health professional. The challenge for patients is recognizing when they should seek help and, if they do, making sure their provider has the expertise to supervise SAD-specific treatment. Responsibility lies both with the patient and doctor. I urge patients to document their symptoms with a set of free online self-assessment questionnaires from the nonprofit Center for Environmental Therapeutics. The printout of results provides a solid basis for guiding a consultation with a health care provider.
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