Winter depression cures

Treat SAD like the depression it is -- with diet, exercise, and the help of a professional. Seasonal affective disorder SAD is a form of seasonal depression triggered by the change in seasons that occurs primarily in winter. Why do some people get SAD? Another theory is that the changing seasons disrupt hormones such as serotonin and melatoninwhich regulate sleep, mood, and feelings of well-being.

About 4 to 6 percent of U. Women and young people are more likely to experience SAD, as are those who live farther away from the equator. People with a family history or diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder may be particularly susceptible. Here are a few SAD treatment options you might want to consider. Light therapy boxes give off light that mimics sunshine and can help in the recovery from seasonal affective disorder.

The light from the therapy boxes is significantly brighter than that of regular light bulbs, and it's provided in different wavelengths. Typically, if you have SAD, you sit in front of a light box for about 30 minutes a day. Most people find light therapy to be most effective if used when they first get up in the morning, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Depression Center in Ann Arbor.

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These devices are alarm clocks, but rather than waking you abruptly with loud music or beeping, they produce light that gradually increases in intensity, just like the sun.

Different models of dawn simulators are available, but the best ones use full-spectrum light, which is closest to natural sunlight. Russian researchers found that dawn simulators were as effective as light therapy for people with mild SAD, according to a study published in in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

Because SAD is a form of depression, it's best diagnosed by talking with a mental health professional. Pierce says. The psychiatrist she had been seeing for depression confirmed it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

If light therapy or psychotherapy does not sufficiently boost your mood, prescription antidepressants may help you overcome seasonal depression.

But avoid medications that might make you sleepyadvises the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Some people think it's only necessary to take antidepressants during the winters when they're feeling the blues, but they must do so every winter, the organization says. Aromatherapy may also help those with seasonal disorder.

The essential oils can influence the area of the brain that's responsible for controlling moods and the body's internal clock that influences sleep and appetite, Dr.Light therapy boxes can offer an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder.

Features such as light intensity, safety, cost and style are important considerations. Seasonal affective disorder SAD is a type of depression that typically occurs each year during fall and winter.

winter depression cures

Use of a light therapy box can offer relief. But for some people, light therapy may be more effective when combined with another SAD treatment, such as an antidepressant or psychological counseling psychotherapy.

Light therapy boxes for SAD treatment are also known as light boxes, bright light therapy boxes and phototherapy boxes. All light therapy boxes for SAD treatment are designed do the same thing, but one may work better for you than another. It's best to talk with your health care provider about choosing and using a light therapy box.

If you're experiencing both SAD and bipolar disorder, the advisability and timing of using a light box should be carefully reviewed with your doctor.

Increasing exposure too fast or using the light box for too long each time may induce manic symptoms if you have bipolar disorder. If you have past or current eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts or eye damage from diabetes, get advice from your eye doctor before starting light therapy. A light therapy box mimics outdoor light. Researchers believe this type of light causes a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases other symptoms of SAD.

Light boxes are designed to be safe and effective, but they aren't approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration FDA for SAD treatment, so it's important to understand your options. You can buy a light box without a prescription. Your doctor may recommend a specific light box, but most health insurance plans do not cover the cost.

Talk to your health care professional about light box options and recommendations, so you get one that's best suited to your needs. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission.

Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. This content does not have an English version. This content does not have an Arabic version. See more conditions.When daylight saving time ends, we gain an extra hour of sleep but lose something precious: sunlight.

As daylight slips into darkness earlier in the day, depression diagnoses increaseaccording to a study published in Epidemiology. While very depressed people may need to see a physician or therapist, many cases of seasonal depression can be self treated, adds Dr.

Rosenthal, a pioneer in the field of SAD research.

winter depression cures

Read on to learn about some tried-and-true treatment methods, plus a few strategies that may be worth giving a whirl if you have seasonal affective disorder.

A daily dose of bright light, especially in the morning, has been shown in multiple studies to be an effective, mood-elevating therapy. Rosenthal, lead author of the first-ever report describing seasonal affective disorder and the use of light therapy as a treatment. Treatment involves 20 to 60 minutes of daily exposure to cool-white florescent light, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.

So it stands to reason that soaking in sunlight on a bright fall or winter day may help lift people from their seasonal despair. Rosenthal explains. A regular workout routine is great for body and mind.

Heart-pumping exercise reduces symptoms of depression in general and also benefits people with SAD. Studies show exercise is even better when combined with light. Rosenthal says. Two types of prescription medicines have been shown to help people cope with seasonal affective disorder.

One option is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, or SSRI. These prescription antidepressants work by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. Generic bupropion Wellbutrin and Budeprion is another option.

It improves mood by boosting brain levels of three different chemical messengers: dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. Extended-release bupropion taken early in the fall before seasonal depression set in reduced recurrence of depressive symptoms in SAD patients compared with a placebo in three studies. These drugs carry risks of side effects, including suicidal thoughts and behavior in some children, teens, and young adults, and may not be the right treatment for everyone.

CBT helps seasonal depression sufferers replace negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors with positive thinking and actions. The behavioral part is taking time for yourself to do something you enjoy, like practicing yoga or grabbing lunch with a friend. A large study found women who consumed the most refined carbs, found in picks like white bread, white rice, and soda, had higher blood sugar levels and were at greater risk of depression although not SAD specifically.

Those with higher fruit, vegetable, and whole grain intake had a lower incidence of depression. Adapt by lightening your load, Dr. Other stress management techniques can help you cope with seasonal depression as well, including practicing meditationscheduling big projects and deadlines for the summer, and taking breaks to walk outside in the sun.

Rosenthal writes in a chapter of his book on alternatives to light therapy. To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter. By Karen Pallarito November 09, Save Pin ellipsis More. Start Slideshow. Image zoom. Credit: Getty Images. Dreary New England winters bringing you down?

A change of venue might help. Replay gallery. Pinterest Facebook.Seasonal affective disorder SAD is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer. Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own.

Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year. In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer.

In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses. Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:. In some people with bipolar disorder, spring and summer can bring on symptoms of mania or a less intense form of mania hypomaniaand fall and winter can be a time of depression.

It's normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, you turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or you feel hopeless or think about suicide. The specific cause of seasonal affective disorder remains unknown.

Some factors that may come into play include:. Seasonal affective disorder is diagnosed more often in women than in men. And SAD occurs more frequently in younger adults than in older adults.

Take signs and symptoms of seasonal affective disorder seriously. As with other types of depression, SAD can get worse and lead to problems if it's not treated.

These can include:. Treatment can help prevent complications, especially if SAD is diagnosed and treated before symptoms get bad. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. This content does not have an English version.

This content does not have an Arabic version. Request an appointment. Overview Seasonal affective disorder SAD is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. Request an Appointment at Mayo Clinic. Share on: Facebook Twitter. Show references Avery D. Seasonal affective disorder: Epidemiology, clinical features, assessment, and diagnosis.

Accessed July 25, Winter depression or winter blues is a common affliction for those who live in our northern climate. Its clinical name is seasonal affective disorder SAD and up to 5 percent of the population especially in northern states may suffer from it. Seasonal affective disorder is characterized by feelings of sadness and depression that occur in the fall or winter months when the temperatures being to drop and the days grow shorter.

The depressive episode is often associated with excessive eating, sleeping, and weight gain. Depressive symptoms begin in the fall or winter and persist until the spring. Women are twice to three times more likely to suffer from the winter blues than men.

People suffering from SAD either are unable to function or function minimally during the season in which their disorder occurs. Seasonal affective disorder shares several symptoms with other forms of depression including lethargy, sadness, hopelessness, anxiety and social withdrawal.

There are many effective treatments for winter depressionsome of which you can do to help yourself. Increasing your daily exposure to as much natural light as possible can be helpful to many.

8 Ways to Cope With Seasonal Affective Disorder

Any time that you have the opportunity to gain access to more sunlight in the winter months, you should try to do so. Exercising next to a window or outdoors when possible is another activity that can help. Although it may be difficult to do, maintaining your schedule and lifestyle will help to keep the depression at bay.

A regular pattern of sleep is the most important thing to maintain. It may be helpful, for instance, to have your bedroom lights on a timer to turn on a half-hour before you wake. This may help in waking at a regular time every morning, when it is still dark outside in the winter months.

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Light therapy has shown to be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder. While you can purchase expensive, specialized light therapy lighting fixtures for your home or office, some inexpensive alternatives are also available.

Another lighting technique to try is to replace commonly used light bulbs in your home with brighter full spectrum also known as broad spectrum light bulbs. While more expensive than regular light bulbs, these bulbs provide light that is similar to natural sunlight.

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You can learn more about effective treatments 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.

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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 SAD 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. Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder SAD often manifest quite clearly at the end of the fall and at the early of the winter.

winter depression cures

This problem fades as the spring knocking. A short autumn day suddenly comes and goes, but it is enough for us to know the taste of the colorful life, leaving uncomfortable feelings. The faint sunshine is also tinged with our mood, which contains thoughts, but is very serious when it comes to making us fall into a state of seasonal affective disorder SAD [1].

Some people love the cold of the autumn wind, which also means they hate sadness at sunset.

12 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression

It is seasonal depression — the type of depression that is caused by changing the light of the season. However, there are a few people with SAD in the spring and summer. Although you have SAD in any season, you have symptoms such as distraction, lack of energy, sadness, despair, sleep apnea, change of taste and weight [2]. Studies show that SAD is involved in genetic problems in the eyes that make patients sensitive to light.

Seasonal depression occurs most commonly in people between the ages of For people with SAD, dealing with fatigue, stress is more difficult. In addition, when tired, we often want to eat foods that help the body more comfortable, this can easily lead to weight gain.

Thankfully, seasonal depression can be overcome.Never pay for postcards. Cinemas and library tills always have plenty of freebies. Buy sticky labels and print them out with your details to speed up entries. With stamps, the only difference between first-class and second-class is that with first, Royal Mail aims to deliver your letter or packet the next working day.

It aims to deliver second-class by the third working day. So unless the closing date's near, don't buy first.

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