Lack of day­light can trig­ger SAD symptoms

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - LIFESTYLE - WITH CLAIR WHITTY

SEA­SONAL Af­fec­tive Dis­or­der is a type of de­pres­sion, also known as Win­ter Blues, or De­pres­sive Dis­or­der with Sea­sonal Pat­tern. To be med­i­cally di­ag­nosed with this con­di­tion you must have the symptoms for two sea­sons in a row, and it should dis­ap­pear with the change of season. It can be some­thing you only ex­pe­ri­ence with the sea­sonal changes or it can be an ex­ten­sion of an ex­ist­ing de­pres­sion that wors­ens in the win­ter time.

It be­gins in the au­tumn when the days get shorter and the evenings longer, when there are less day­light hours. It can af­fect more women than men; women are twice as likely to get it. It can start in your 20’s, and 3% of the pop­u­la­tion are af­fected.

It’s as­so­ci­ated with de­fi­cien­cies in brain chem­i­cals like dopamine and sero­tonin which can be caused by a lack of sun­light, and de­fi­cien­cies of mela­tonin which is essen­tial for mood and sleep.

The lack of day­light can trick your brain into think­ing that it is night time dur­ing the day and trig­ger symptoms which can in­clude: fa­tigue, per­sis­tent low mood, feel­ings of de­spair, and sad­ness. Or lack of mo­ti­va­tion, joy, ex­cite­ment, and hav­ing no in­ter­est in do­ing any­thing. You might be sleep­ing more than usual. So­cial anx­i­ety can be a huge prob­lem. Appetite can also be af­fected; you may ex­pe­ri­ence crav­ings for car­bo­hy­drates in par­tic­u­lar sug­ary treats.

Vitamin D is in­volved in the pro­duc­tion of Sero­tonin and Dopamine–if you are al­ready de­fi­cient in Vitamin D and then you have less sun­light hours you will have a de­creased pro­duc­tion of the brain chem­i­cals as­so­ci­ated with mood re­sult­ing in the symptoms listed above.

Other sup­ple­ments that can help in­clude Omega 3 fish oil, Rho­di­ola, or Saf­fron.

Get­ting plenty of day­light is ex­tremely im­por­tant, go out­side as early as pos­si­ble in the day, take your break and ex­er­cise out­side when you can. Open your cur­tains and blinds to let as much day­light into the room as pos­si­ble. At night make sure your room is as dark as pos­si­ble. Paint rooms nice bright colours. Talk to some­one about how you feel. SAD Light Ther­apy Lamps are an­other op­tion worth con­sid­er­ing. Clair Whitty is a Bach Flower Prac­ti­tioner, a Nu­tri­tional Health Coach ac­cred­ited with Thought Leader Nat­u­ral Health 2018 and a Vega Food In­tol­er­ance Tester at The Nat­u­ral Health Store, 24 North Main Street, Wex­ford 053 9121613 | [email protected]­ | www.nat­u­ral­health­

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