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Seasonal depression...

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Old 11-08-2008, 02:22 PM   #1
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Question Seasonal depression...

I suffer from fairly vicious seasonal depression. My mood is strongly affected by sunlight - I can usually tell if it's overcast before even getting out of bed just by how I feel. I have a Go Lite by Apollo, a light device designed to simulate sunlight... it helps some, but not as much as I'd like.

I wonder if I should find a way to be on anti-depressants just for the shorter days of the year (Autumn and Winter) but I'm not sure if that's possible, and I worry that some meds can cause weight gain.

Anyone else have seasonal-only depression? I used to have depression year round but these days 90% of my depression is sun-based and the rest is just circumstances. It's kind of confusing, and I'm not sure how to handle it; I was doing pretty well on my diet until it got to be the end of October and suddenly the days just got too short and I'm struggling really hard to keep from emotional eating.
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Old 11-12-2008, 05:56 AM   #2
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try with high quality fish oil , like carlsons or other , fish oil is use to cure depression , that is because DHA from fish oil is big part of our brain , try it , take higher dosages , for you 10-15 ml
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Old 11-12-2008, 07:14 AM   #3
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Re fish oil:
My family takes it too, and find it helps many things.....
skin, digestion, joint and muscle aches, fatigue, weight control (yes really!, I didn't lose but haven't really gained since taking it regularly, ) in my practice, it reduces risks of preterm labour, and of water breaking before labour begins .... there are many things.
Someone asked me why we would need this in our diet, and my theory is this...
Just like they need for iodine....when ancient people moved inland away from the coastal areas, and when we started mining salt instead of getting it from the sea, people started getting goiters and thyroid problems. Iodine naturally occurs in sea salt, but not mined salt, and missing this micronutrient had a strong effect on humans.
I think there is a similar thing with fish oil, it contains nutrients that are difficult if not impossible to get elsewhere, and we suffer in many small ways without these nutrients. Science probably doesn't know of all the ways lack of these fatty acids may affect us.
But as a supplement, outside of allergy, I have never heard of fish oil harming anyone, and it is not extremely expensive to give it a try for 6 months.
I don't like remedies and drugs that cost a fortune and may not work well, but getting this at say costco or other bulk supplier isn't very expensive.
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Old 11-12-2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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My depression gets worse in winter. One year I tanned daily, which made a huge difference, but I don't do that any more because of the skin damage.

Getting some sun would help (on the days there is sun...) but when I'm depressed I have a huge problem getting up off the couch for anything. I tend to sleep on the couch too, because I'm too tired to get up and go to bed.
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Old 11-13-2008, 01:59 PM   #5
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I lived with a guy who used a sun lamp regularly, and he said it really helped him.
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Old 11-14-2008, 09:18 PM   #6
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I have SAD. I live in Seattle... wrong place for this! I have lived here for 38 years but only have gotten this in the last 5 years, (having kids really changed my whole body/mind) Anyways, after fighting it for 5 years and trying everything I could to fix it on my own, 5-htp, st johns wort, daily walking, I broke down and went to a Dr. I am now on a low dose of generic Prozac, which scares the crap out of me BUT going thru another Seattle winter scares me more. We'll see. I am also planning on moving to CA next year. This should more than fix it. Every summer I am full of life and energy, come fall, especially Nov. (right after the daylight/standard time change) and am weak, tired and grouchy til about late may. It sucks! talk to your dr. about SAD. A sun light is supposed to do wonders, I just cant dedicate my self to 2 hours of sitting in front of one every day, two little kids and all. Good luck! I feel your disdain for winter... lol
Oh, and the dr. said I should only have to take the meds until spring time. nice, by then I'll be that closer to CA!
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:15 PM   #7
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Another vote for a full-spectrum light. They aren't cheap, but they do help. I work in an office with no windows. Some days I never see daylight. Putting the lamp on my desk has really helped.
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Old 11-14-2008, 10:55 PM   #8
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I grew up with un dx s.a.d. and didnt realize it until I moved away and came back -- noticing how much my energy and concentration levels changed by November.

the light is worth the investment. or buy the lightbulbs and put them in your regular lamps.
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Old 11-23-2008, 09:40 PM   #9
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I have been tanning once or twice a week to deal with my seasonal. I find myself looking forward to it, and the last week, Ive decided only to do it as a reward for keeping up with my work out plans.

I was on anti depression meds last winter, and Im not a fan.
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Old 12-31-2008, 08:01 PM   #10
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I moved from down south to Indiana about two and a half years ago and since that time have experienced depression each winter. The first winter I was so depressed; I could not get to work on time and started missing days. I became isolated; I just couldn't get it together. I started taking Wellbutrin 150mg XL last winter (late ---in Feb); I stopped it during the summer and started back the first of October this year. I have done so much better this winter! The Wellbutrin has really helped my mood; it didn't decrease my appetite though (bummer). I believe it is the only anti-depressant with an FDA indication for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:48 PM   #11
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Sorry to bump this topic that has been dead for awhile... but I have struggled with SAD the past couple of years and thought this winter maybe things were going differently, but the last few weeks I have noticed the difference. Two years ago I had really serious depression so sometimes I feel I should be able to "shake off" this milder form that plagues me every winter, but no go so far. Exercising and tanning really does help but unfortunately my lack of interest in doing anything but sleeping really interferes.. I'm thinking about heading home from school next weekend to talk to my doctor sighhh
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Old 02-27-2009, 10:12 PM   #12
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Betsi! YOUR HAIR! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!

*ahem*

I actually have reverse SAD. My depression gets MUCH worse starting in the Spring and is horrid until it gets close to Fall. Luckily being a housewife now I can keep a nocturnal schedule which really helps. Maybe it's just a very low tolerance for heat and the fact I burn after a few minutes in the sun even with sunsctreen? No idea. D isn't an issue for me because I drink a LOT of skim milk and take supplements, I get people lecturing me about that a lot.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:51 PM   #13
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I have struggled with depression since I was about 15, and I was diagnosed with SAD when I was 16. I took meds and moved from PA to FL, which helped immensely. My husband wanted to move back to PA in 06, so we did, and it's been horrendous. I was diagnosed with Bi-polar, as my moods were cycling, but I'm convinced that it's a direct result of lack of sunlight. I have full spectrum bulbs and lamps and occasionally go tanning, but it's so dark here that it doesn't help much. I'm currently on Prozac and Zyprexa.
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Old 03-10-2009, 01:07 PM   #14
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I do too. I live in Syracuse. The winters are hard. I try and stay busy and occasionally go tanning for some light.
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Old 03-10-2009, 02:25 PM   #15
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My mom suffers from SAD and she was advised by doctors to start tanning...apparently, the light helps her depression and anxiety
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