Seasonal Affective Disorder

For all I like the opportunities that living and working in the UK has given me, I struggle each year with the winter. I get more sleepy, more hungry for carbs and my mood is lower.

I was fortunate that when I was researching my dissertation for my Post Graduate Diploma in Dietetics, I learned a whole heap about what was a fairly under-researched area of mental health dealing with winter depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, so when it struck in my second winter in the UK, I was not completely clueless as to what was wrong with me.

Now nearly 15 years on, I think I have finally cracked a good “recipie” for me to get through the winter more or less intact:

  • Effexor – still fiddling to find the right dose
  • 30 minutes of physical activity daily using my Wii fit
  • a minimum of 30 minutes of light therapy using my light visor in the morning
  • 10 mg of Vitamin B6 between day 21 and day 28 to deal with the PMS
  • 10 mcg of Vitamin D (although this is a controversial area, with my interest in nutrigenomics, I am prepared to go with its benefit for me)
  • Mindfulness, accepting this is a tough time of year for me!

So if you find the winter hard, it can be worth considering SAD as a possible cause of your lower mood, increased sleepiness and weight gain.


About kiwihelen

A Quaker woman with something to say. I am 40 years old, a Pakeha (white New Zealander) who is an economic migrant living in the UK. I am a registered dietitian, a feminist (although I am very aware of the mysandry of some feminist authors and also support the work of some Mens Rights Activists), a crafter and I play the trombone. I am in a long-distance relationship with a Quaker man who has two beautiful daughters. I have 12 nieces and nephews and a great nephew and niece. I share a house with my best friend J, and we are the staff for two cats Archie & Asbo.
This entry was posted in anxiety, depression, diet, seasonal affective disorder. Bookmark the permalink.

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