Signs And Symptons Of Depression. Seasonal Depression ?
Q: I have battled mild depression for years. Usually associated with the
change of seasons... (I live in Upstate NY). I have been consistent
with exercise.. that tends to help (run 3 miles a morning before work)-
arranged it so my office gets a pyrotechnical display of sunshine (if
there is any out there) and self medicate with coffee in the winter.
A:Mood changes synchronised to the seasons exist on a continuum between individuals, with anxiety and depression increasing during the winter months. An extreme form of seasonality is manifested as the clinical syndrome of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) with carbohydrate craving, hypersomnia, lethargy, and changes in circadian rhythms also evident. It has been suggested that seasonality and the symptoms of SAD may be due to changing levels of vitamin D3, the hormone of sunlight, leading to changes in brain serotonin. Forty-four healthy subjects were given 400 IU, 800 IU, or no vitamin D3 for 5 days during late winter in a random double-blind study. Results on a self-report measure showed that vitamin D3 significantly enhanced positive affect and there was some evidence of a reduction in negative affect. Results are discussed in terms of their implications for seasonality, SAD, serotonin, food preference, sleep, and circadian rhythms. This is not really answering your question about vegetarians as I'm not one, but I wondered if you could tell me more about your St John's Wort intake. I took S.J.W. for about 2 months leading up to christmas and thought that I wasnt experiencing such strong SAD symptons as usual. But I could not say that I was feeling truly un-depressed, so it was quite a vague improvement. Today has been a real low in which I didn't feel like I'd woken up until about 4.30 pm by which time it was already going dark. Unless I force myself to go to bed and just lie there I am pretty sure that I won't feel sleepy tonight. I missed two full nights of sleep last week like this. (I just stay up writing emails) I think there's nothing to lose by starting to take S.J's Wort again , but just as an encouragement can people who feel it's helped them please tell me any noticeable beneficial effects, or signs that it's doing something. Also can any harm be done by inceasing the recommended dosage? A recent BBC TV programme "Vets in Practice" featured a bull who's skin was literally coming off. This was diagnosed as being caused by the bull eating St. John's Wort which made it extremely suceptible to sunburn! The treatment was to keep the animal in complete darkness for a week.