Natural remedies for seasonal depression
Four natural remedies for seasonal affective disorder
Does the cold and lack of light depress you? You suffer from a seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal affective disorder, because it occurs from late fall to early spring.
Let's go to light therapy.
For whom? Those for whom the blues is accompanied by a feeling of sadness, difficulty in getting up in the morning...
"Although the origins of seasonal depression are not yet well known, one of the causes is the decrease in the intensity and duration of daylight, which causes an alteration in the biological clock," explains Dr. Rafal.
How does it work? Ideally, you should be exposed to daylight for at least 30 minutes. Otherwise, light therapy lamps replace this exposure.
How do we do it? We choose a light therapy device with a medical CE mark, of at least 10,000 lux. You are placed at a good distance, without looking directly at the light and exposed gradually: 10, 15, then 30 min. per day, for 4 weeks.
Phototherapy is contraindicated in cases of eye injuries or diseases that may increase sensitivity to light. A doctor's opinion is essential if you are taking a treatment.
You fill your plate with tryptophan.
For whom? Those in whom seasonal depression is accompanied by compulsive biting and mood swings.
How does it work? By promoting the production of serotonin - a mood hormone - tryptophan is said to have an antidepressant effect. Studies have also found that supplementation with 5-HTP (a tryptophan derivative) can reduce the symptoms of depression.
How do we do it? We choose a dietary supplement based on L-tryptophan. For example, Nergestress (LPEV) or Tryptophan Détente Sérénité (Yves Ponroy).
There are also 5-HTP based supplements such as Noxidrim (Solgar) or plant extracts (Griffonia PhytoPrevent EPS). As a precaution, they are not associated with antidepressants.
Tryptophan is also found in protein-rich foods (eggs, fish, meat, legumes, etc.) or in bananas.
We bet on St. John's wort, an antidepressant of vegetal origin...
For whom? Those who suffer from seasonal depression, but wish to avoid conventional antidepressants.
How does it work? The World Health Organization recognizes the oral use of St. John's Wort in mild to moderate depression. "The mode of action of this plant remains mysterious, but it is believed to act by modifying serotonin levels, among other things," says Dr. Rafal.
How do we do it? St. John's wort can be taken as a complete fresh plant suspension (WFPS Synergia) or as dry extract tablets (Arkopharma's Procalmil, Mediflor's Mildac).
The dose should be adapted according to the intensity of the depression, ideally in consultation with a physician, and should not exceed 1 g per day.
It should take at least 4 weeks to notice an improvement. Read the package insert carefully and check for drug interactions, and don't stop at once.
We combine acupuncture and antidepressants...
For whom? Those whose symptoms are still mild. In the case of actual depression, acupuncture is used as an adjunct to treatment.
How does it work? In 2011, a meta-analysis studied thirty clinical trials on depression and acupuncture.
Several of them showed a benefit of acupuncture when combined with antidepressants, compared to medication alone. It may help by releasing euphoric endorphins and promoting energy circulation.
The points to be stimulated are chosen according to the symptoms.
How do we do it? "In the case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), one session per week for 2 or 3 weeks, before moving on to one session per month during the winter," advises Dr. Rafal. If there is no change after 3 weeks, it is better to stop. There are no contraindications.
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