SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder affects around two million people each year, and as the nights are getting longer it’s around this time of year it’s going to start creeping upon you.
“Many people don’t consider SAD to be a real form of depression due to its seasonal nature; but the symptoms and feelings that people experience are very real and just as severe as other types of depression. SAD presents most commonly in women and occurs from October through to January.” says AXA PPP healthcare’s Dr Mark Winwood.
The exact causes of SAD are still not understood but reduced exposure to sunlight during the shortest days of the year is the most likely cause. It’s believed that the lack of sunlight affects how the neurotransmitter serotonin works in the brain that this affects mood, sleep and appetite.
The symptoms can be hard to spot. Like many other types of depression, the main symptoms include low mood and a lack of interest in life. Additional symptoms often include:
- Being less active than normal
- Feeling tired and sleeping more than normal (hypersomnia)
- Feeling lethargic
- Finding it difficult to concentrate
- Weight gain through a higher intake of carbohydrates and sugars
Dr Winwood continued: “Walking and exercising outside in daylight hours, eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables and seeking support from friends and family are all ways in which you can help ease the symptoms of SAD yourself. If these don’t help, then it is important to seek professional advice from your GP or health provider who can advise on the best course of treatment.”
As well as this advice, John Bell & Croyden have selected their top 5 products to help with these seasonal changes.
A Vogel Hyperiforce St Johns Wort Tablets (£10 for 60 tablets)
A Traditional herbal medicinal product used to relieve the symptoms of low moods and mild anxiety. St Johns Wort is especially effective to treat mild forms of depression.
SAD Solutions Blue Light LED Poratble Light Therapy (£155)
Up to a third of the population in Britain suffers from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as winter depression, according to MIND, a leading mental health charity in England and Wales. This is a Easy-to-use and portable BLUE Light uses blue light technology to give a quick, safe and 100% Medical CE certified effective light treatment for those suffering with SAD disorder which can improve mood.
BetterYou D Oral Vitamin D3 Spray by Jan de Vries (£7 for 15ml)
Contains 100 sprays enough for a 3 month supply. Vitamin D3 is manufactured by our bodies when our skin is exposed to UVB rays from the sun and aids calcium absorption which is fundamental for maintaining healthy teeth and bones. Research shows that in the winter months we lack Vitamin D.
Syence Super Hydrating Emulsion (£44 for 50ml)
It’s a medical fact that properly hydrated skin will heal up to 50% faster. Normally moisture placed on your skin evaporates, drawing off your skin’s natural oils. Super hydrating Emulsion uniquely binds moisture to the skin, allowing it to breathe. Super Hydrating Emulsion hydrates and plumps up the skin and fine lines and wrinkles are reduced.
Serotone 5HTP Supplement (£19.50 for 90 capsules)
5HTP is a natural amino acid found in the body and can help with depression. Serotone also contains specific co-factor B Vitamins and Zinc and does not contain Valerian.