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Combating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Naturally By Stewart Hare
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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) also known as Seasonal Depression and Winter Depression is an extreme form of common seasonal mood cycles of depression that is triggered by low natural light levels, this typically occurs in the winter months from November to March. It is thought to affect 5% of the population and a further 10% of the population can suffer from the lesser form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), known as sub-syndromal SAD. People whose profession needs then to work at night are extremely susceptible to suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Research is still looking in to the exact reasons why Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) occurs, the general belief is that the levels of the brain chemicals melatonin and serotonin react to low levels of light which causes the depressions.
Typical symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are depression, feeling hopeless, lethargy, sadness, tearfulness, thoughts of suicide, sleepiness or excessive sleep, overeating, craving for carbohydrate and weight gain. These symptoms typically disappear in the spring and summer months. When these symptoms occur for three winters then Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is diagnosed. With milder form of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), sub-syndromal SAD, the symptoms typically last between January and March.
Exercise, spending time outdoors in natural light and a course of light therapy which includes being exposed to a bright light of over 2500 lux for two hours a day will help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Eating the right diet will also help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), do not eat fatty foods for breakfast or lunch, avoid fatty, salty, sugary snacks such as cakes, biscuits, pork pies, crisps, pizza, confectionaries, doughnuts, salami and pastries, avoid alcohol, salt and caffeine, eat plenty of fruit, legumes such as lentils, chick peas and kidney beans, whole grain bread and cereals such as brown rice, oats and pearl barley, nuts and seeds, roots vegetables such as potatoes, carrots and parsnips and also cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, drink plenty of mineral water and herbal tea. It is best to eat, little and often throughout the day.
The following supplements may help if you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Multivitamins and minerals
St. John’s wort
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Stewart Hare C.H.Ed Dip NutTh
Advice for a healthier natural life
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