Homeopathy and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

“A sad tale’s best for winter.” — William Shakespeare

Some people love cold weather, snow and winter sports, weather challenges energize them. Others feel very differently about winter. As the days get colder, shorter and darker, some people get low-spirited. They feel dissatisfied, sad, tired all the time, and cannot motivate themselves to do activities they used to enjoy. They feel that winter is here forever, and summer is an unobtainable dream. Alfred de Musset, a 19th-century French poet, wrote “Winter is a disease”, and I am sure many people who suffer from SAD will agree. The effect seasons have on all of us has been known for long time, but only relatively recently the suffering from absence of sunlight has been acknowledged. “Such diseases that increase in the winter ought to cease in the summer…”, wrote Hippocrates in fifth century B.C. He stated that gradual change in weather is better for health than sudden one, and made lifestyle and dietary suggestions for each season. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans, it is a form of depression that comes in winter, sometimes as early as October, and disappears in Spring. Since most of the symptoms of SAD are triggered by lack of sunlight, it is helpful to get as much exposure to sunlight as possible – dress up warmly and spend time outside during day time, travel to a sunny location, even a little break from dark winter might make a difference, use a full spectrum light in your office and home. There are many homeopathic remedies that have aggravation from winter and amelioration from sunshine as part of their symptoms picture. If you have a chronic (many years) SAD that occurs every year, you have to consult a homeopath for the remedy. If you have an occasional episode of SAD that was brought by high level of stress or a very long period without sunshine, try a homeopathic remedy that matches your symptoms the best. Are you chilly and sensitive to change to cold, dry weather and feel better during mild, wet weather? Try homeopathic remedy Causticum. If you are restless and miserable in cold, wet and cloudy weather that makes your back and joints to stiffen up, and you feel better in a hot shower, homeopathic remedy Rhus toxicodendron will be helpful. People who are deeply affected by cloudy weather and changes in weather in general, who feel much better after speaking with friends or eating chocolate ice cream, will benefit from homeopathic remedy Phosphorus.

If you have tried 3-6 doses of the best matching homeopathic remedy and you do not see expected results, call your practitioner for more specific remedy suggestions.

Stay warm and happy!