Seasonal Affective Disorder
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD? It’s the onset and continuation of certain symptoms that appear during certain times of the year. It occurs most often in women, and most frequently during the fall into the winter months when exposure to natural light becomes more limited.
SAD may occur during the summer months as well, and when it does is sometimes accompanied by increased anxiety.
My personal experience was that I struggled with depression during most of the year, but I had come to dread the onset of fall when the depression was even worse. The changing of the seasons, onset of the colder weather, shorter days seemed to be triggers. I live in the northeast, so everything stops blooming, freezes and dies. Depressing…
Until, that is, I completely changed how I ate. Over the past 18 months, those changes have completely cured my depression. This is my second fall where I am actually, for the first time in many, many years, enjoying the change in the seasons, the colors of the leaves, the transition into fall and then to winter.
I was skeptical of my own recovery and wanted to come full circle with another fall to see if I were really changed by my new eating habits or if last fall were just a lucky anomaly. The only thing I’m noticing this fall is that I’m craving carbohydrates a bit more than usual; but…no depression!
What did I change in my diet to bring about such seasonal relief? I started eating clean, whole food. I purged my pantry and my refrigerator of all prepared foods, foods with preservatives, processed foods, sugar of all kinds, simple carbs of all kinds. We began eating as much organic food as we could find or afford. Lots of raw salads with great variety of veggies and fruits on them.
To be honest, I didn’t make these changes to relieve my depression; it was a lucky accident. About 6 months after I started changing my eating habits, I started to notice I felt better. I wasn’t spending time checking in to see how my mood was doing. I was outside of my head taking in my world instead of being inside my head trying not to be depressed. Those of you who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder and/or depression will understand what I mean.
My diet changes didn’t happen all at once. It was a journey of discovery and continues on today. I’m not perfect…I’m a work in progress…
Make Major Improvements in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major