Do you find yourself eating or sleeping more when the temperature drops and darkness comes earlier? Many people who live in the northern latitudes experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Winter Blues to some extent. Connections between human mood and the seasons are well documented. Unfortunately, about 5% of people may have severe SAD. Another 10 to 20 percent may have mild SAD.
The US National Library of Medicine notes that SAD in the shorter days of fall and winter can trigger anxiety, feeling overwhelmed, low energy, too much sleep, craving sweet or starchy foods, and reduced concentration. This can reduce our ability to function at work or home.
There are a number of treatments for SAD, including light therapies with bright lights, anti-anxiety medications, exercise and increased outdoor activity, particularly on sunny days.
Light therapy mimics outdoor light and causes a biochemical change in our brain that lifts our mood, relieving symptoms of seasonal affective disorder. Light therapy hasn’t been officially approved as a treatment by the Food and Drug Administration because of a lack of definitive evidence about its effectiveness in clinical trials. There are many websites offering these types of lights. You can find them by searching for “light boxes.”
Exercise and increased outdoor activity can be a great help when fighting anxiety and depression. Multiple studies have shown that exercise can be beneficial for depression. Unfortunately the fatigue and lack of motivation associated with anxiety and depression can make it difficult to get started with an exercise program. Some tips to overcome these difficulties are: start small, do something you enjoy, get an exercise buddy, exercise outdoors, and/or join an exercise class.
Liddell makes two natural over the counter products that may be helpful for the symptoms of SAD called Anxiety + Tension and Overwhelmed. They have indications for stress, apprehension, worry, and mental and/or physical fatigue. We think it makes a lot of sense to try these side-effect free natural medicines before trying mainstream pharmaceutical antidepressants. In either case though, you should always first consult with your doctor prior to starting your anxiety treatment plan.
Barbara Powers, founder of Liddell Laboratories, says: “I would never offer a product I wouldn’t use myself or give to my family. The important Anxiety + Tension and Overwhelmed medications were developed due to my deep concern about the ominous long-term side effects associated with over-prescribed mainstream antidepressants.” Unlike mainstream pharmaceutical drugs, these products are not habit forming, safe to take with preexisting medical conditions, and will not interfere with other medications.
Jana Taylor is a staff writer for Liddell Laboratories.