Seasonal Affective Disorder


Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by symptoms of depression that develop during winter months and subside in the spring and summer.

Although many people feel less energetic in the winter, people with SAD suffer for a prolonged period of time and with a deeper level of symptoms.

The most difficult months are January and February. The majority of people affected are women and younger people.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is a medical condition characterized by fatigue, poor concentration and an intense craving for sweets and other carbohydrates. The people affected with this have an overwhelming need for sleep, but the sleep never seems to refresh.

With the body slowing down and the adding of extra carbohydrates, weight gain is quite common. Also, the immune system becomes suppressed. Sex drive can also diminish.

Do not confuse seasonal affective disorder with the depression some people feel during the holidays when they have unresolved emotional issues or problems.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Light Therapy

The most convincing theory regarding the cause of SAD has to do with the decreased amount of light that is available in the winter. A winter day in the United States can have up to half of the amount of hours of daylight as in the summer.

Natural sunlight affects a substance in our bodies known as melatonin, by acting as a control mechanism for it.

As the sun sets, the pineal glands in our brains sense the decrease in light and begin to secrete the sleep inducing hormone - melatonin.

Low levels of serotonin may also occur, which contributes to depression. Serotonin production is directly affected by the duration of bright sunlight.

Light therapy has been demonstrated as the most affective way to treat SAD. Phototherapy or bright light therapy helps curb the secretion of melatonin. SAD lights are available in ranges from small sizes that fit on your desk to lights that brighten an entire room.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments

Other treatments include spending time outdoors everyday. Even a short walk in the sunlight can energize you twice as much as an artificial light indoors. If possible, rearrange your office to be near a window also.

Diet is an important part of keeping your mood elevated. Eat vegetables and lean protein to help stabilize your blood sugar. Eat a small snack of them every few hours to ward off the urge for bread or sweets.

Eat high fiber foods such as oats, brown rice or whole wheat to slow the release of sugars into your bloodstream. Eat plenty of turkey, chicken, tuna and salmon. These foods are high in protein to give you energy and tryptophan, which stimulates the “feel-good” hormone in your brain.

Raw Brussels sprouts are a perfect food. They are rich in vitamin C which fights fatigue, stimulates your mood and are low in sugar.

Supplements that help include ginkgo biloba which improves blood flow to the brain and enhances neurotransmitter activity. Fish Oil is good because it contains essential fatty acids such as DHA which improves neurotransmitter functions also.

It is very important to see a physician if your depression is prolonged or seems on a deeper level. Even if you are unsure, go to your doctor immediately. Depression is a very serious issue that you need to take action on.

Stress and Anxiety

There are a number of natural nutrients that have been found to help your body cope with stress.

Neurological Formula from Xtend-Life contains the key ingredients that help fight stress and anxiety including ginkgo biloba, SAMe and 5-HTP.

Xtend –Life Natural Products follows strict GMP guidelines, which are the toughest in the industry. They also hire the best scientists available to research and produce their supplements. They use only the purest herbal extracts giving you the maximum benefits available.

As we have said over and over – Depression is very serious.

Neurological Formula is an excellent stress fighting supplement, but always consult your physician when you feel that you could have seasonal affective disorder in your life.

more than seasonal affective disorder on our Health Conditions page

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