Effective Treatment Options for Seasonal Depression

As the seasons change, and we shift into fall and winter, some people lose vitality and interest in all activities. But this goes well beyond ordinary winter blues, it is a condition that affects a person’s overall wellness. According to researchers, it’s estimated that more than more 5% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also called, Seasonal Depression. If you or someone you know is suffering from this condition, you can rest assured that there are safe and effective treatment options available.

Below are the most successful ways to relieve the symptoms of Seasonal Depression:

Light Therapy

Light therapy replaces the effects of the sunlight for people who suffer from this seasonal mood disorder. With this form of therapy, also called, phototherapy, the goal is to stimulate the brain into producing less Melatonin. It is believed that Seasonal Depression is caused by Melatonin over-production. The light is designed to emulate the sun’s rays but at a much higher intensity. Patients can use this method at home in the form of light boxes. The boxes provide 1000 times more light than ordinary indoor bulbs. The light acts as a normalizer to severely lessen or restrict Melatonin production in the brain. Users can see an improvement in their symptoms quickly; typically all symptoms disappear within two weeks.

Physical Exercise

Although it seems simple, regular exercise has proven to benefit those suffering from Seasonal Depression. It was discovered that people who exert themselves physically during the winter months see an improvement in their symptoms right away. This treatment option is so effective that it can actually replace light therapy. The effects of physical exercise equals to two and half hours of light treatment. The recommended duration to receive the benefits is one hour outside. Researchers were able to determine that even when conditions were less than favorable, with cloudy skies, patients still benefited for exercising.

Dietary Changes

One of the reasons why Seasonal Depression affects some is the change to shorter daylight hours during the fall and winter months. The shorter hours are related to an increase in sugar intake and carbohydrates craving. This is the most effective treatment that doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. Simply by cutting out junk food and eating clean during the winter months, it has been shown to help increase energy while decreasing the symptoms.

Suffers of Seasonal Depression crave sugar and excessive carbs because in short they supply the body with a quick and easy energy source. This offsets their depression by providing energy. As an alternate fuel source, it’s suggested that those suffering with this condition rely on complex carbohydrates instead.