I used to dread the fall season. But I don’t any longer.
For decades I lived with chronic depression that would get much worse as fall set in.
I didn’t know it then, but I was dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD. It affects many people, and if fall and winter send you into a downward spiral of depression, you may be affected by it as well. I’ll share a couple of tools I used while I was still living as a depressed person, but first I want to give you an overview of why I don’t dread fall any longer.
There is so much to this story, but the really short version is that I changed how I eat and reduced the inflammation in my body and my brain. As a quick aside, studies are now showing that anti-inflammatory drugs are more effective in managing depression than are the drugs that reset serotonin levels (antidepressants) in managing depression. But before you reach for that bottle of ibuprofen, let me assure you that is not the answer. Too many of the those medications, whether prescription or over the counter, will leave you with a leaky gut which kicks up your level of inflammation, and round and round you go with the cycle of inflammation and depression.
But, back to the part where I changed how I eat. For reasons totally unrelated to my years of chronic depression, I changed my diet. This meant I got rid of sugar, preservatives, gluten, wheat, dairy, anything in a box and processed foods. I began eating whole fresh food, some organic, some conventional; lots of vegetables and whole grains. Within several months, my life of depression was a memory. I haven’t been depressed since, and it’s been six years now!
Was it that simple? Yes! Was it simple to do? Yes…and no. In our world of processed food, it is not always easy to eat simply and cleanly. Processed food is easy when you’re in a hurry, and it’s addictive. We crave it, and it’s designed by the big food companies to be that way. It’s not your fault if you crave chips and cookies that you know aren’t good for you. It’s part of the plan.
I can tell you, I would never go back to the way I used to eat for the world though. I’ve learned to cook food I love; and I enjoy cooking now! It’s opened up a whole new world for me. I now have a blog called Thin Strong Healthy where I share recipes and information as well as offer health coaching. I’ve just about completed my first book, “Eat Your Blues Away”, and I teach people how to cook and eat deliciously and healthfully without breaking the bank. For me, my change in diet has been a total transformation in many, many ways.
Earlier I promised to share a couple of tools I used to handle SAD while I was still living with depression. There were two. The first was SAM-e, a supplement that is easy to find, and the second was a full spectrum light device. Full spectrum lights used to be bulky and very expensive, but now they are smaller, even portable; and they are much more reasonably priced. I used these two tools to help me the last year I dealt with depression, and wish I had discovered them earlier.
If you have any questions or need further information about anything in this article, please email me at Cheryl@thinstronghealthy.com. I will get back to you, and if I can do anything to help someone deal with depression, I consider it a privilege to do so.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness in Your Life!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
P.S. Check out all the free recipes for great tasting healthy eating in the Recipe Section at http://ThinStrongHealthy.com