If you or someone you know suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, you may be considering the different treatment options. While there are many treatments available for SAD, including anti-depressant medications and psychotherapy, some may wish to take a more natural approach.
If you are experiencing minor symptoms of SAD, some natural remedies may be able to help. However, if you are experiencing severe symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor or psychiatrist immediately to discuss the best options for you.
In some cases, these remedies may be combined with traditional treatment methods to better improve your symptoms of SAD.
Light therapy is a natural and highly effective, non-invasive treatment for SAD that includes various light temperatures and times of administration. In research, a combination of morning and evening exposure offers the best results. Other natural remedies for SAD include vitamin D, L-tryptophan, St. John’s wort, and melatonin supplementation [1,2].
A deficiency in vitamin D levels is linked with an increased risk of developing depression. Vitamin D levels can be depleted during seasons of decreased daylight hours, such as wintertime. Eating a diet rich in Vitamin D, or supplementing with vitamin D in those who are deficient may help to treat or reduce SAD symptoms .