Seasonal Depression (SAD) and the Winter BluesAug 03, 2021
You don’t have to be SAD with the winter blues.
The last weekend in May marks the unofficial start of summer with the Memorial Day holiday in the US. We honor freedom and those who sacrificed their lives with flags, family gatherings, and sunshine.
May's sunshine may also mark the pause to your Seasonal Depression – yes, it's a real thing! The official name is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and it's a type of depression usually linked to changes in the seasons but not always.
14% of the population experience the winter blues in the US, but only an estimated 6% are diagnosed with SAD. Experts suggest the number is higher since the disorder often goes unreported and undiagnosed. Many (including doctors) mistakenly contribute lethargy and lack of motivation to other conditions like hypothyroidism, not seasonal depression.
According to BrainMD, seasonal depression resembles the typical symptoms of depression, including:
- Persistent sad or negative mood
- Loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities
- Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, hopelessness, or pessimism
- Sleeping too much or too little, or early-morning awakening
- Appetite changes and weight loss or weight gain
- Decreased energy, increased fatigue, or feeling "slowed down."
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Persistent physical symptoms (such as headaches, digestive problems, or chronic pain)
- Chronic low self-esteem
- Constant feeling of being dissatisfied or bored
Discovering your root cause leads to problem solving and cures. The reasons can include:
- Low levels of Vitamin D (not soaking up enough sunshine).
- The production of too much melatonin (your sleep hormone).
- Abnormal regulation of your feel-good chemical serotonin.
You don't need to be living with winter blues!
Your functional practitioner can test for all of these levels so you can get to the root cause and get relief. With over 70% of America's deficient in Vitamin D, you likely need to supplement with Vitamin D3 anyway to support your body's immune and inflammatory process. Here is a link to the D3 I take in the fall, winter, and spring.
Stop wishing you lived in sunnier climates and end seasonal depression by being an informed and knowledgeable detective of your health.
Take Good Care,
**Three out of four people have low levels of Vitamin D, which plays a critical role in your overall brain health, mood, memory, weight, and immunity. You can purchase a high-quality Vitamin D3 here.
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