Tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder

1. Get outside during the day. It’s pretty basic, but we get busy and it’s cold, we just don’t get out in the sunlight. I looked at the sunrise and sunset for today (12/12/12) it was 8:36 sunrise and 4:01 sunset!! That’s seven and a half hours of sunlight. And if it’s cloudy, it’s even worse.

2. Move your body. For me this is the key, since getting outside with a toddler when it’s -30 C just isn’t feasible. If I do a bit of movement every other day, this keeps me saner.

3. Supplements. There are a number of supplements, vitamins and minerals you can take to help. Of course, check with a health care
professional before you start anything. This is just what works for me and some others.

  • Vitamin D. This is the vitamin we get from the sun, so when you aren’t getting sun, you aren’t getting this important vitamin. I take a couple thousand some days, usually not even that much. the RDI is 400 IU for children and 600 IU for adults. Upper limits for Vitamin D are 1000 for children and 4,000 IU for adults.
  • Magnesium. This is often taken in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D, as you need all three for teeth and bones (and possible vitamin k). But you can take it on it’s own. Some claim that it’s necessary to take it on it’s own and that a lot of common ailments are a lack of magnesium. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my radar. Miracle of Magnesium.
  • Omega-3’s. Fatty acids are important for the brain, because your brain is made up of fat. The best way to get your Omega-3s is to eat fish. I take a supplement. Asrai no likey fish.
  • 5-HTP. This is a funny one for me. It’s a precursor to serotonin  5-HTP is made from tryptophan, which is the part of turkey that makes people sleepy, in the body. But a bad batch of tryptophan in 1989 got it banned by the FDA in the US, and 5-HTP took it’s place. Reference: The supplement is supposed to help with sleep. I take it and I’m wired, up to all hours. I take mine in the morning to combat this.
  • L-Phenylalanine. An amnion acid, it helps your body make L-Tyrosine which in turn makes dopamine and norepinephrine. I take this in the morning as well, and sometimes during the day on a empty stomach for an extra boost. You don’t want to take it too close to bedtime.
  • L-Tryosine. This works the same as L-Phenylalanine but faster. I get a pretty quick boost in energy when I take it. The bottle I have says for short term use in physically stressful situations, so I save it for days I know I’m tired or if I have a lot to do.
  • B-complex. B vitamins are a good energy booster as well, so you have to make sure you don’t take it too close to bedtime. As well, an excess is eliminated in your urine, so your pee will be super yellow.
  • GABA is another amino acid for anxiety. I’m finding my moods are managed under 5-HTP and L-phen, so I haven’t taken any GABA myself. But it’s also on my radar.

4. Consider an anti-depressant. I learned about these supplements in the book “The Female Brain Gone Insane” which was an interesting read. The author, Mia Lundin, is a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner,  says that anti-depressants don’t help your body make new serotonin they just recycle what’s there.

Last anti-depressant I took, I was literally vibrating at the lowest dose and a very short time taking them. My husband told me I had to

5. If you are on hormonal birth control, consider making a switch. This is personal, the Pill and the shot, make me depressed. I was on
the shot for a couple years before it started affecting me. But after that even two weeks on The Pill would affect me. This is no
longer a consideration since I got a tubal litigation.

6. Tan. My sister in law says tanning helps her mood. I don’t have the time, money or desire to tan (hello skin cancer). If I had that kind of money, I’d buy the SAD lamp.

7. Get a SAD lamp. Sometimes if your doctor gives you a prescription, your insurance will pay for some or all.

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3 thoughts on “Tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder

  1. i was seriously low on Vitamin D but after 2 years of supplements, my levels are good. I have to admit that tanning was my go to choice. I love tanning. and I love feeling warm, but the cancer thing scares me to death. But I discovered that the reason I liked the tanning was because of the Vitamin D deficiency. as soon as that improved, I was aware that my desire to tan went away. but it all makes sense since the tanning lights make my body produce Vitamin D.

    I’d like to try the lamp, for when I’m sitting at my desk. Here in Calgary it’s often too cold to go outside in the witner, so that might be a good idea. we’ll see.

  2. Pingback: Dealing In The Face of Loss and Sorrow | Debra Kristi's Blog

  3. Pingback: Dealing In The Face of Loss and Sorrow | Debra Kristi

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