Q:

What are some home remedies for seasonal affective disorder?

A:

Quick Answer

Bright light therapy is the most common home remedy to alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, according to experts at Harvard University. Morning exercise and certain herbal supplements, preferably in combination with light therapy, are also known to help, according to the Mayo Clinic. Omega-3 fatty acids are also believed to be effective in treating depressive symptoms, though further scientific study is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Continue Reading
What are some home remedies for seasonal affective disorder?
Credit: JGI/Jamie Grill Blend Images Getty Images

Full Answer

SAD is a mental disorder characterised by depressive symptoms that arise within a seasonal pattern, as described by Wikipedia. Some people who suffer from SAD experience symptoms in the fall and winter, whereas others are affected in the spring and summer months. Seasonal patterns are found in some bipolar disorder patients as well. These patients may experience hypomanic or manic symptoms during certain seasons and depressive symptoms during others. It is important to distinguish SAD from bipolar disorder with a "seasonal patterns" specifier because the treatments for the two illnesses differ. Bipolar disorder with seasonal patterns may require psychiatric medications such as mood stabilizers in addition to bright light therapy to alleviate symptoms.

Morning exercise is said to advocated by the Mayo Clinic as an effective natural treatment for SAD in addition to bright light therapy. Exercise releases neurotransmitters called endorphins in the brain, which create positive emotions. Herbs such as St. John's Wort act similarly to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, a type of antidepressant, and may also be effective in treating seasonal depression.

Learn more about Pain & Symptoms

Related Questions

Explore