How to treat your seasonal depression without medication
You were happy and enthusiastic in the spring, but by the fall and winter, you’re tense, irritable, uninspired, and worn out. If so, you might suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). In this article, we will shed some light on:
- What causes seasonal depression disorder?
- Diagnosis of seasonal depression and mood disorders
- How to treat your seasonal depression without medications?
What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Although the exact cause of seasonal depression is unknown, there are a few theories that explain what makes people get SAD symptoms:
- If there is less sunlight, the biological clock may alter – your internal clock regulates your emotions, sleep, and hormones, but if it alters, your everyday routines may be interrupted.
- Brain chemical imbalance may cause you to feel depressed.
- Serotonin levels are affected by vitamin D insufficiency, which might impact your mood.
- Melatonin influences your sleep and mood. The absence of sunlight may cause a decrease in melatonin production, making you feel sluggish and tired during the winter.
- Negative thoughts (researchers are unsure whether this is a result of seasonal variations).
Diagnosis of seasonal depression and mood disorders
If you suspect you have SAD, consult your healthcare physician for a comprehensive evaluation. We recommend you do so because the reason for your depression may be different (it varies from one individual to another).
Your physician will question you about your symptoms and examine patterns to determine whether you have seasonal depression or another mood disorder. In addition, we may ask you to complete a questionnaire to identify if you have seasonal depression and then provide a few effective therapies to alleviate its symptoms.
Non-pharmacological ways to treat seasonal depression
To address your seasonal depression symptoms, you should consider the following treatment combinations:
- Light therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) – research shows that it effectively treats SAD and its long-term effects
- Spend some time outside to get more sunlight! Sunlight stimulates the production of vitamin D in your body, which aids in the increase of serotonin levels. Take vitamin D tablets on a daily basis to help alleviate your symptoms. Always ask your doctor before beginning any medication
You are not alone; doctors estimate that 4 to 6% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is important to treat SAD since all forms of depression hinder people’s ability to live their lives fully, enjoy their families, and function well at work.