How Can Alternative Medicine Help with Seasonal Affect Disorder?On September 1, 2017 by Admin
Seasonal affective disorder, also referred to as SAD, is a depression-related disorder that affects people during fall and winter periods. Typical signs of seasonal affective disorder are a depressed mood and a lack of interest and energy for doing something. Other symptoms of SAD include fatigue, weight gain, sleeping problems, irritability, anxiety, as well as cravings for unhealthy foods.
SAD symptoms are commonly treated with various psychiatric treatments, as well as natural alternatives like light therapy or dietary supplements. Below, we will look at some natural remedies that are often used for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder.
Which Natural Treatments Can Help Those with SAD?
Specialists believe that seasonal affective disorder can be triggered by lack of exposure to sunlight, which is common for fall and winter. Therefore, they often recommend light therapy as a natural treatment for this disease. This therapy implies being in front of a light-generating device – light box – for minimum half an hour every day.
Another method recommended by American Psychiatric Association is to increase your exposure to sunlight, for instance, by spending more time outdoors or at least sitting close to a window which may also help with the SAD symptoms.
The effectiveness of dietary supplements as a natural treatment for seasonal affective disorder has not been studied well. However, few existing studies suggest that the development of seasonal affective disorder may be triggered by low levels of vitamin D in the body. Researchers have also found some connection between the SAD symptoms and a dysfunction in the body’s production of hormone melatonin.
In addition, according to a 2007 study, omega-3 fatty acids may also help to improve the symptoms in people with affective disorders.
Thus, if you have been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, you may want to try using certain dietary supplements to improve your condition. However, make sure you discuss it with your healthcare provider first.
Stress Management Techniques
Another natural treatment option that is considered to be effective for those with seasonal affective disorder is stress management. This consideration is based on the studies showing that people with chronic stress are more likely to develop depressive disorders.
Stress management practice includes various techniques that help to reduce your stress (for instance, such techniques as yoga, meditation, guided imagery etc.), as well as manage your stress triggers.
Is Natural Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder Worth a Try?
Like any other mental disorder, seasonal affective disorder requires a certain treatment program that a mental health professional creates specifically for you. This also applies to alternative medicine, including the use of natural remedies. Although some natural remedies may actually help to alleviate the symptoms, you may need some additional therapeutic treatment. Therefore, make sure to discuss your case with your primary health care provider and mental health professional before starting any self-treatment. Otherwise, you may experience serious consequences.