Some warning signs include a difficulty to complete normal tasks, withdrawal from social activities, changes in mood or behavior and disruptions in eating or sleep patterns. These are all particularly alarming if they interfere with your daily life. Untreated or under-treated depression can cause serious problems, but sometimes people hesitate to seek treatment.
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All rights reserved. The symptoms of SAD can mimic those of clinical depression. Symptoms include a depressed mood, irritability, too much or too little sleep, too much or too little eating, increased feelings of fatigue, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, brain fog, and in extreme cases thoughts of death. Symptoms range from very mild to severe.
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SAD is more prevalent in northern latitudes where the amount of sunlight is low during winter months, this is because seasonal mood changes are believed to be related to the amount of sunlight we are exposed to. Skin exposed to sunlight begins a reaction that leads to the formation of Vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency can lead to depressed mood, poor calcium absorption or even osteoporosis.
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Testing kits for Vitamin D deficiency can be obtained easily from your local pharmacy and involve pricking your finger and sending off the blood sample to be tested. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplements alongside any medication e.
St John's Wort is known to interfere with the effectiveness of some contraceptive pills. Standard lighting in your household or office will get you only around LUX which is not enough to combat the effects of winter darkness. Get plenty of exercise which can help help combat the low feeling of SAD. Often symptoms can be significantly improved or even stopped by exercise and increased outdoor activity, particularly on sunny days.
Get plenty of good sleep and try to go to bed and rise at or around the same time each day. Not only does this help to normalise your body's melatonin production, but it also gives your body sufficient time to rest, relax and rejuvenate.
Try to ensure your diet contains lots of fish, fruit and vegetables, drink enough water, eliminate refined and processed foods, and have a diet with a low level of saturated fat. Other blog posts on this subject. Trying to lose weight?
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