Winter can be a tough time for people who suffer from SAD, otherwise known as Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a form of seasonal depression that is triggered by the change of seasons, and limited access to sunlight, which leads to decreased melatonin and serotonin. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, roughly 20% of Americans have a mild case of SAD, and approximately 5-6% experience severe symptoms.
The signs and symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are the same as those for major depression. However, SAD is distinguished from depression by the remission of symptoms in the spring and summer months.
Common symptoms of seasonal depression include:
- Depressed mood, low self-esteem, social withdrawal
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and despair
- Feeling angry, irritable, stressed, or anxious
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Lack of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Appetite and weight changes
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased aches and pains
- Fatigue and lack of energy; reduced sex drive
- Use of drugs or alcohol for comfort
Fortunately, there are several things that one can do to not only improve general brain function but helping to reduce the symptoms of SAD. These are:
1 Get endorphin-producing aerobic exercise at least 5 days per week.
2 Eat an anti-inflammatory diet and maintain a healthy body weight.
3 Explore relaxation and meditation techniques.
4 Take a Vitamin D supplement and Mood-Boosting Omega 3 Fatty Acids.
5 Use a Light Box
6 Get Regular Chiropractic Care.
While Chiropractic care isn’t necessarily a direct treatment for SAD, it has proven to be a useful component in helping patients manage their symptoms. Since stress and fatigue are major triggers of both vertebral subluxations and SAD, maintaining a consistent chiropractic care schedule can be essential in reducing these symptoms. Your Fort Collins chiropractor uses a natural, drug-free approach by correcting vertebral subluxations that interfere with nerve function in the brain and spine. Chiropractic care also allows the body to operate at its full potential.