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Are You SAD? Natural Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Are You SAD? Natural Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Fall is hereóand for many adults, so is seasonally triggered depression. As many as 10 percent of Americans suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or winter depression, especially in the Northern parts of our country where winter days are short and dark. Some people turn to their physicians to get a prescription to treat their symptoms of loss of energy, oversleeping, overeating, and mild depression. But what can you do if you donít want to pop a pill?

There are ways to deal with the impact of SAD naturally?

Many individuals suffering from SAD choose light therapy. Light boxes providing 10,000 lux are used to stimulate light exposure. I have a patient who took the summer off from using her light box and started back up in late August, with 10 minutes each morning. By December, when it’s especially dark in the Pacific Northwest, she’ll sit in front of the box for half an hour before heading out to work each day.

It’s also important to focus on a healthy diet. Avoid simple sugars and white flours and instead choose healthy proteins and complex carbohydrates.† Many studies have demonstrated the excellent effects of exercise in the treatment of depression; get out and move, despite the dark and dreary weather.

It’s also important to maintain a healthy level of Vitamin D. Ask your doctor for a recommendation on the right dosage for you, and meet this with a combination of vitamins and foods, including fish, cereals, and milk.

And on those rare sunny days during the fall and winter, get outside or sit beside a window to increase your exposure to natural light. If you’re able to do so, plan a trip to a sunny locale during the darkest days of the season.

Donít give in to SAD!

Fight back with:


Good nutrition


Vitamin D

Natural sunshine when possible

Photo by Dan


Read more: Alternative Therapies, Depression, Diabetes, Health, , ,

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Dr. Ellen Walker

Dr. Walker is a licensed clinical psychologist born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Recognizing that there is no one type of childfree adult, Walker guides clients through the positive and negative aspects of childfree living, taking into consideration the different issues faced by men or women, couples or singles, whether gay or straight. She has a clinical practice in Bellingham, Washington. She and her psychologist husband, Chris, enjoy an adventure-filled life with their two terriers, Bella and Scuppers. Learn more on her website 


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12:35PM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

thanks for sharing

3:06AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

Thank you

4:14AM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Thanks for the article.

6:04AM PST on Nov 17, 2011

I've always said I hate winters because they make me go a little crazy. It's so much more difficult to be productive, to wake up at a decent hour, and to focus on important things. It definitely makes it much harder to enjoy life and I'm much more likely to lose interest and give up on things I used to care about. But then I live in Portland, and once the winter starts, it's very rare to see a sunny day... I might have to try out a light box.

10:03PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

I think you speak of beautiful sadness.

That sadness captures the soul.

10:02PM PST on Nov 13, 2011

I think you speak of beautiful sadness.

That sadness captures the soul.

6:39AM PDT on Oct 11, 2011


1:58PM PDT on Oct 7, 2011

Many thanks for posting!

11:58AM PDT on Oct 5, 2011

I normally start to get low and claustrophobic as soon as autumn approaches. It feels like a guillotine falling with every dark evening. This year I'm looking for positives - I'm asking everyone I know for good things about autumn, and am collating them to refer to whenever I feel low. If anyone has any they'd like to offer, do please feel free to leave a comment on my page - thank you!

12:00PM PDT on Oct 2, 2011

As much as I love the fall and winter, I can't stand the gray skies for months on end.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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