Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Are you one of the 25 million Americans who is suffering from a subtype of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder? Its also known as the "winter blues". SAD typically strikes around September or October and then fades away in March and April. (Depression on the other hand can occur year-round.) SAD can be controlled if you take appropriate action. If not addressed, it can manifest into a year round major depression.
The primary cause of SAD is light deprivation, so light therapy ranks as the first line of defense. Regular use can reset your body clock and increase serotonin. Recommended about 20 minutes a day at first, preferably in the morning. If symptoms remain unchanged, increase to 45 min a day. You should feel the affects with in 2 to 4 days.
Diet and exercise
Dietary changes also can ease SAD symptoms. Try a high-protein meal to boost intake of tyrosine. Consuming this amino acid in the morning helps boost your energy throughout the day. For dinner, try eating less protein and more carbohydrates like whole grains to help the brain synthesize serotonin. In addition to improving your mood, increased serotonin may help people sleep better.
You may also want to add more fish to your diet, too, especially cold water types like mackerel and salmon that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. People with depression often have low levels of omega 3s.
Contact me for additional information on "SAD".