An engineer suffering from depression in winter thought that it was the low sunlight that caused the dip in his mood. He mentioned his theory to personnel at a psychiatric institute who tried non-natural light in an experimental treatment. This led to seasonal mood disorder first being described by scientists.
Today doctors will nearly always first prescribe drugs that work on our serotonin metabolism, but that treats the symptom and not the cause. The researchers at the psychiatric institute used light boxes to treat the engineer, and it has been used since, but they can be very expensive.
Don’t plan to move your house to sunnier climates just yet, there are a number of things you can do to lift your winter blues depression and it will also lead to a higher quality of life.
Let The Light Come In.
- Remove tree branches, any bushes, and plants that block sunlight from entering your home. In fact, allow any extra light that you can to enter your home though doors and windows.
Take It Outside.
- By taking a walk or simply going to a park bench you’ll get more of the sun’s rays. Step outside whenever you can to take a break. If the light outside seems to be feeble, it will still do your mood good.
There might be more to it than just exposure to sunlight – fresh air also helps. In a study that pitted the use of bright light against negatively ionized air as treatment for chronic depression, both forms of treatment improved patients’ feelings. Patients took portable air filters home to treat their disorder.
Even if you can’t go outside there is a way to still get the benefit of fresh air indoors. Read room air cleaners reviews to help you make a decision before you buy an air purifier for your home.
- Make it a routine to regularly exercise. Exercising lifts our mood in a number of ways. Stress and anxiety worsens the symptoms of the blues and physical activity lowers it. Being fitter also makes us feel better about ourselves when we like the way we look. See if you can’t combine the benefits of exercise with that of being outside at the same time to get maximum gain from your time spent exercising.
Eat Good For A Good Mood.
- Omega-3 fatty acids may help relieve depression symptoms and have other health benefits too. It is contained in salmon, herring, and mackerel and other oily fish species. Omega-3s are also contained in other vegetarian foods, but at this stage we do not know whether they have the same benefits.
You can also take omega-3s supplements if you don’t gain enough from food sources. Another supplement to consider is vitamin D. Since vitamin D is synthesized because of exposure to UV-rays, their level might need boosting in winter months.
When To Call The Doc
It’s normal for everyone to feel down on certain days. When feelings of depression last for days and nothing gives as much enjoyment as before, make an appointment to see your doctor.
With these measures you can take control of your mood – even if the weather is miserable, you don’t have to be.
Author Bio: Pierre Coetzer is a freelance writer living in sunny South Africa. He spent his early career in the medical world with a special interest in psychiatry. He regularly writes about health and lifestyle issues.
Article Description: Seasonal mood disorder can be effectively treated by changing the way we live. Making a small change can lead to a big improvement in your quality of life.