I woke up one day exhausted. I had slept for 10 hours but still felt drained. I told my husband, “I’m not sure what’s wrong. I cannot seem to wake up.” I felt fatigued, sad, and couldn’t seem to get my life together.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder or Seasonal Depression is a serious shift in mood that occurs seasonally most often in the winter. Common symptoms include:
- sleeping excessively
- fatigue/lack of energy
- decreased activity
- loss of libido
- increased appetite
- cravings for carbs
- weight gain
- agitation or irritability
- recurrent thoughts of death
I thought maybe I was just exhausted due to the cold weather. You know the “winter blues.” I went to see my nurse practitioner and told her what was going on. She immediately drew some blood work and found that my Vitamin D level was extremely low. I started taking Vitamin D-3 and in about 1-2 weeks I felt SO MUCH better!
- Depression is a tricky disease. Sometimes it can be caused by an underlying physical problem, or by a traumatic event, but sometimes it can be caused for unknown reasons.
- Seasonal depression is different from major depression in that it occurs during certain parts of the year most often winter.
So what can you do if you or someone you love is dealing with seasonal depression?
- Talk to your health care provider about treatment options. Some physical screening options to consider include Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, sleep apnea, and thyroid health.
- Effective treatment options for Seasonal Depression include:
- Full spectrum light therapy- This should be used first thing in the morning for at least 30 minutes for optimal results.
- Vitamin D-3- Make sure to get a Vitamin with D3 and K2. These are fat-soluble vitamins and you need both to properly absorb it. Additionally you can also increase your vitamin D by exposing your bare skin to the sun for at least 15-20 minutes a day.
- Therapy- I am a big believer in therapy because it literally changed my life. Research shows that therapy is incredibly effective. However, it does require you to show up and do the work!
- Anti-depressants- If you symptoms are starting to seriously interfere with your life than I would highly recommend considering the use of anti-depressants.
- Find a mental health professional who can work with you! I’m currently taking patients at my Kirksville location. Click here to schedule an appointment with me!
Depression and fatigue aren’t normal! Join our Wellness Tribe and take back your health today!