Many people suffer from depression in the winter time, but many do not recognize the symptoms. Let’s take a look at winter depression symptoms and how to combat them.
Winter Depression Symptoms – What Is It?
Winter depression is sometimes called seasonal effective disorder (SAD) and can occur to anyone, even people who have not had depressive symptoms before. It commonly occurs in the winter months when days are short and darker. Usually the weather can trigger winter depression too.
It can just be one symptom or many. The most common symptoms are wanting to sleep more, not wanting to engage with others, feeling in a low mood with little or no energy, eating more or less and feeling agitated. This is not an exhaustive list but reflects some main symptoms. It is interesting to note that these also mirror depression.
These symptoms occur at the winter stages of the year, typically on longer darker days.
In the most extreme of cases it may me necessary to take mild antidepressants, or you can focus on natural antidepressants such as 5-HTP (you can read about 5-HTP here). 5-HTP produces serotonin which is the brains happy juice.
Also, lavender essential oils dabbed onto your pillow can help relax you at bed time. You can also drink herbal teas and reduce your caffeine intake.
Eating healthy and regular exercise helps too, exercise is known to release endorphins into the body.
Vitamin D is an essential addition, we lack this vitamin with the sun being weaker and out less often. Also, Omega 3 fish oils are also a good source essential fatty acids that contain DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid) which helps serotonin uptake.
Meditation can help too, focusing on mindfulness can help you realize the good things about winter and what you have in your life. You can buy relaxation sound CD’s or guided meditation books to help you along.
Make sure you sleep enough, try to go to bed at regular times every day.
I would recommend a combination of these to help, and remember to always consult a healthcare professional before taking any medications or herbal remedies.
S.A.D Lamps & Alarms
These lamps are a way of creating a natural daylight in your home. Usually the lamp uses led to create a daylight effect, this then triggers the Melanopsin receptors to release serotonin. A minimum of 2500 lux is needed to trigger this release, most lamps however go up to 10,000 lux. Using these lamps can be beneficial if used throughout the day.
S.A.D Lamps can be expensive but the layout is counteracted by the benefits of using this type of lamp, and also with the lamp using leds the bulbs they last much longer and are cheaper to run than a normal bulb. So this can work out much more cost effective in the long run.
Another effective item is a light alarm clock. These simulate the sunrise by gradually increasing the light, which helps wake you naturally. Many also come with nature sounds that you can use to wake up to or help relax you to fall asleep.
>> Click Here To Read My Review Of The Philips Sunrise Wake Up Light Alarm <<
Winter depression or sad is much more common than we think, millions of us suffer from it. Recognizing the symptoms early enough can mean you can reduce or even remove the symptoms completely. Adjusting your lifestyle to include some of the above suggestions every day, will inevitably help.
It’s important not to get winter depression mixed with depression, if you suffer from any of the symptoms all year round you may just suffer with depression. You can read my earlier article on recognizing depression here.
I hope you found this article informative. Let me know if you suffer with SAD and how you combat it by commenting below. If you have any questions, please ask below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.