Top Ten Products for Seasonal Affective Disorder
Medically Edited and Reviewed by Dr. Erin Zinkhan MD, BSBE
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a seasonal depression that impacts more than 3 million people in the United States alone. SAD is characterized by feelings of depression, difficulty concentrating, and changes in appetite, sleep, and weight. These symptoms usually start in the fall and last through the late winter. If you experience the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, there is hope. SAD is temporary and for most people usually lasts about three months. However, there are several treatments available for seasonal depression, including:
- Light Therapy
- Physical Exercise
- Sleep Therapy
- Dietary Changes
We will discuss the top ten products available at Vitality Medical that will help you combat symptoms of SAD and increase your overall wellness.
Light therapy is one of the most common treatments of SAD, and it is easy. Light therapy is the addition of natural sunlight into your daily routine. The most popular light therapy products are natural light bulbs. Natural light bulbs are an easy way to incorporate natural sunlight into your day.
Another option for light therapy is the SunLight Bright Therapy Lamp by Carex. Light therapy lamps are designed to sit on a desk or table. Simply sit in front of the lamp for a prescribed length of time. Treatment times can range from 15 minutes to 2 hours, so be sure to follow the instructions provided by your doctor. Since these lamps are portable, you can easily fit the treatment into your regular workday, while cooking dinner, or with any other activity that requires you to sit or stand near a desk or table.
Another treatment for seasonal affective disorder is exercise that leaves you with a sense of wellbeing, such as yoga. Make this exercise part of your weekly schedule for maximum benefits. The CanDo Yoga Mat is a popular product to help get your fitness routine started. Combine exercise with Aromatherapy oils for maximum mood-lifting benefits.
There are several types of sleep therapy that are recommended for SAD. The most popular is chronotherapy. Chronotherapy is a combination of sleep scheduling and sleep deprivation, which studies have shown, have a long-term anti-depressant effect. Talk to your doctor if you think chronotherapy may be right for you.
Simple additions to your normal diet could make big changes in your mood and wellness. Food that contains melatonin and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to decrease the symptoms of SAD. Melatonin is a natural hormone produced by the body to help induce sleep. Omega-3 fatty acids are naturally occurring healthy fats. Some foods that have a large amount of melatonin are:
- Sour Cherries or Sour Cherry Concentrate
- Mustard Seed
Some foods with a large amount of Omega-3's are:
- Certain Types of Fish
- Brussels Sprouts
If you dislike the food in the above lists. Alternatives are to add supplements to your diet which may give you similar effects. The most popular omega-3 fatty acid and melatonin supplements at Vitality Medical are the Natrol brand Omega-3 Softgels and Melatonin Tablets.
Massage is a great way to relax and sooth both muscles and the mind. Massage lotions often have positive effects on the skin. The Massage Lotion by Master Massage is the most popular. Master Massage products are made in the USA and they do not undergo animal testing. For self-massage, try the Conair Massaging Seat Cushion. This cushion fits in a car seat or lounge chair and helps you to get the benefits of massage without having to go to a therapist.
Another option for treating SAD is medication. Anti-depressants and other medications can be prescribed to treat the symptoms of SAD. Talk to your doctor if you think this option is right for you.
If you choose to take medication, you may need some help managing your medication regime. The most popular product for helping manage your medication schedule is the Med-E-Lert Automatic Pill Dispenser. For assistance splitting your medication, try the Plastic Pill Splitter by Medline.
You may need to try a variety of therapies to find the one therapy or combination of therapies that works best for you. For additional information on seasonal affective disorder and its treatments, see the resources section below.
Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
Web MD: https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/seasonal-affective-disorder#1
Positive Health: http://www.positivehealth.com/article/aromatherapy/aromatherapy-for-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad
Immune Health Sciences: http://www.immunehealthscience.com/foods-with-melatonin.html