Winter is coming, and so is seasonal depression. This condition unfortunately is not super known, and it can be really difficult to go through, especially if you do it alone and you don’t have the means to recognize it. CBD can help with the management of the symptoms.
In this article, you will find all you need to know about seasonal depression, its symptoms and incidence, how CBD can be helpful and in what ways, what other treatments you can turn to and what to watch out for when you want to start using CBD. Do you think you may be suffering from seasonal depression? Do not get discouraged! Let’s find out together what you can do about it with a little help from our friend CBD.
What is seasonal depression?
Seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. For this reason, it usually begins and ends at the same time, every year. Often, the symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. These symptoms often resolve during the spring and summer months. It can be induced by a lack of sufficient sunlight, but that’s not always the case: SAD can also cause depression in the spring or early summer and resolves during the fall or winter months, but this kind of seasonal depression is rarer. Someone may have winter blues (a lighter form of the condition) while living in southern climates and convert to full blown SAD if he or she moves to a northern climate. According to Doctor Rosenthal, 6% of the US population is affected by SAD. Another 14% of the adult US population suffers from the lesser form of seasonal mood changes, winter blues. SAD is four times more common in women than in men, and it usually doesn’t start in people younger than age 20. People with SAD make up around 10% of all depression cases.
Seasonal depression’s symptoms
Seasonal depression is not just a bad mood! It’s a real disorder, not to be underestimated. It can affect the day to day life, and it’s a good idea to treat it immediately. Some studies show that people living in high-latitude countries (for example Canada, UK, Baltic countries) are more affected by it. But of course it can strike all over the world, and it’s different for everyone. Some symptoms are more physical, others are focused on the mood. Here we are talking about the most common ones.
If you are registering a heavy feeling in the arms or legs, a drop in your energy levels, an increased difficulty to concentrate and to go out, you might suffer from seasonal depression. Another very important thing you need to know is how seasonal depression can affect sleep. People who suffer from this condition sleep more, and they find it very difficult to wake up in the morning and to be productive and energized. SAD is very heavily correlated to the feeling of being tired and to have a lack of energy. It can also cause more sleep disturbances, like nightmares. Symptoms of the “summer version” of seasonal depression can be poor appetite, weight loss and insomnia.
Some symptoms are the same as the “classic” depression ones. We are talking about a loss of interest in social and pleasurable activities, hopelessness and helplessness, headaches and stomachaches, irritability, anxiety. Seems bleak. The good news? SAD is very treatable.
Do not self-diagnose, if you think you are suffering from seasonal depression talk to a psychologist or a therapist and discuss with them the best way to attack and defeat it, or to make it more manageable.
How can CBD help for seasonal depression?
Of course, it’s important to tackle this kind of disorders with a healthy dose of therapy. Talking with a professional can help you learn how to manage the symptoms and how to get over the season with less damage possible. But it’s not all. CBD based products can also help with the symptoms.
Studies show that CBD can help with anxiety, depression, insomnia and sleep disorders in general. Small doses of CBD also appear to help reduce daytime sleepiness. There’s more: CBD boosts levels of the serotonin and dopamine production systems in the brain, interacting with our body’s endocrine system. Another good thing about CBD is that it exists in a variety of forms. You don’t like smoking? You can drink it and eat it, you can use it in oil form. If you are feeling crafty, you can extract CBD tincture at home! The CBD world is yours to conquer. One thing that is important to note is that products containing only CBD, and no other compounds, will not have any psychoactive effects. This is worth mentioning just in case you are seeking to use cannabis to help alleviate some of the symptoms of SAD but are not wanting any of the ‘high’ feeling that comes along with it. Stay on the lookout for THC.
If you don’t know how and where to start and you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed, we at hempati.com will be very happy to guide you through it. CBD products are a lot, and it is comprehensible to be a little lost, especially if you are at the start of your journey. We have a good selection of oils at different percentages of CBD, some specific products to help with sleep, immune system and stress levels, hot and cold gels and, of course, a wide variety of flowers.
Now, back to the serious part. Always ask your doctor and your therapist if you are thinking about introducing CBD products in your life. Experiment with the dosage: start small and go from there. Learn to understand the effects it has on your body and what kind of product is your favorite. If you are taking medications, know that CBD in some cases can interfere with them.
We already mentioned therapy and CBD. There are few other treatments for seasonal affective disorder. The one that is most promoted is light therapy. Light therapy is the use of a lamp equipped with a UV filter (ultraviolet light) that allows exposure to an artificial white light intense enough to replicate the effects of the sun. Light therapy for the treatment of seasonal affective disorder is often treated with complementary therapy and antidepressant medication.
Of course, another way is to practice exposure to natural sunlight, if possible. Vitamin D is much needed for the body and for the brain, it’s very useful in the treatment of SAD and it comes from the sun. To meet our daily vitamin D requirement from the sun, we need around 6 minutes of sun exposure during the summer and 15 minutes during the winter. However, on overcast and cloudy winter days, it can be challenging to get our daily quota of sunlight. That’s when the other form of treatments can come in handy.