SEASONAL DEPRESSION/SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)
Definition: This type of depression is linked with the lack of exposure to natural light. To establish a diagnosis, the condition must occur within the same period every year (autumn or winter) for 2 consecutive years, and last until the return of spring.
Common Symptoms: Irritability, depression, lack of energy, weight gain, poor concentration and oversleeping, among others.
Causes: The lack of sunlight causes a decrease in the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter of the brain that modulates our moods and helps us stay awake. Decreased daylight hours lead to a disruption of our biological clock (circadian cycle). The change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.
Light Therapy: Spend time outdoors in the sunlight (even if it’s cloudy or gray, go outside anyway). Exposure to natural light can energizing and the soothing sounds of nature can help you to relax. Spend at least one hour a day outdoors during the winter months). Another option is the use of a light therapy lamp (it mimics natural light). Using one for as little as 15 minutes first thing in the morning can do you a great deal of good and get your day off to a great start.
Supplements: Vitamin D, Omega-3.
Exercise: Helps reduce stress and anxiety. It can also improve your mood and help you feel good. Choose an activity that you enjoy.
Complementary Therapy: Acupuncture, yoga, meditation, relaxation, guided visualisation and massage therapy.
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Aromatherapy: The following essential oils can be used in a diffuser, personal inhaler, room spray and in products for the skin and body. Be careful, however, because some essential oils have contraindications (example: not intended for children, pregnant women and seniors, possible interaction with drugs). Consult an aromatherapist or aromatherapy professional for advice and information.
- Energizing oils (examples): black pepper, grapefruit, lemon, rosemary, exotic verbena, sweet orange, peppermint, and spearmint.
- Calming oils (examples): oliban, geranium, neroli, patchouli, ylang-ylang, and true lavender.
A Few Tips
Follow your treatment plan, take care of yourself, learn how to manage stress (if need be), socialize, or travel to a sunny destination.
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First Impressions: Personnelle Holiday Collection