Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment can it reall make you happy again?

The Good Life Letter 
29th October 2010

Morecambe and Wise were the greatest comedy duo of
the 1970's and 80's. No argument will be entered into on
this subject.

Just take it as fact!

If, like me, you never missed one of their TV shows, you
will know their signature song. "Bring me sunshine" was
the closing number to every episode, and is still instantly
recognisable to those of us of a certain age.

What I hadn't realised though was that they were ahead
of their time in matters of health.

We only begin to understand how important sunshine is to
us when we lose it - like when the clocks get mucked
about with........ do we really need daylight saving time in
this day and age?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of winter depression
that affects about 7% of the UK population - that's over 4
million people - every year, from September to April. The
months of December, January and February tend to be
the worst. 
It can be unbearable for sufferers. In some cases, it can
have a devastating effect. You literally cannot function. 
So is this all just a state of mind? Just a case of winter
Surprisingly, NO...
S.A.D. is triggered by a chemical imbalance caused by
lack of sunlight.
This imbalance takes place in the hypothalamus - a
section of the brain just behind the eyes. This section
helps to control the pituitary gland, which in turn controls
the thyroid, adrenal glands and sexual organs.
And, as if that wasn't enough, the hypothalamus also
helps control appetite and weight, sleep, body
temperature and emotions. 
So when the hypothalamus is mucked about with, your
body can feel extremely off-centre, and can make the act
of "keeping up appearances" very hard indeed...
People who suffer from S.A.D. may feel like shutting the
world away. And if they do have to deal with people, they
can be irritable and snappy. They become tense and
stressed, they find it hard to stay awake, they tend to
crave carbohydrates and sweets...
In short, they suffer from a full-blown depression which
can all-too-easily be written off as a general low feeling
that most of us feel when January comes, when work and
school starts up again, and when things slowly get back to
normal.  Even those of us who do not suffer from S.A.D.
can feel low and down when the winter sun is weak
But there are ways to fight it...

The Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment that could be the light of your winter life

Overcoming S.A.D isn't as simple as just turning the lights
on - sadly the light we get from a standard bulb or
fluorescent tube is not bright enough to replace the power
of natural sunlight.

We need to replace the spectrum and intensity of the
sun's rays, and that requires a very special light source to
make the difference - find one here:

Choosing a therapeutic light source needs some careful
research, as all light boxes are not the same. For instance,
the product HAS to have been tested as a medical device
and MUST carry the correct European certification mark.

Without these marks of quality there is no way of knowing
that the product you use will have any benefit on your
condition, and might even be damaging you health due to
poor screening of harmful ultra violet light.

I've found a perfect range of products from a UK
manufacturer who has been developing light therapy
solutions for over 19 years. Their Bright light products are
classified as medical devices specifically for the treatment
of S.A.D.

They are so confident of their products ability to help
sufferers that they offer a 30 day money back
guarantee..... so what have you got to lose?

If you think you are a S.A.D sufferer speak to your doctor
to make sure, after all depressive conditions can occur for
a whole number of reasons and you need to take it
But, if a lack of sunlight is causing you to feel lethargic,
struggle to get out of bed in the morning and just
generally feel like you've lost your get up and go, a light
box may be the solution for you. Find out how a few 
minutes a day can make all the difference to how you feel
this winter.

Early risers, shift workers and anyone like me who
struggles to drag themselves out of bed in the morning
can also benefit from a Bodyclock.  A range of integrated
dawn simulators - a concept pioneered by -
Bodyclocks are alarm clocks that mimic a sunrise to wake
you up naturally with light. The gradual increase in light
prompts biological responses that make you feel more
energetic and alert upon wakening. An optional sunset
feature helps you unwind at night.

Make light of the winter diet...... that'll help too

Of course, one of the ways you can boost the effect of the
lamp is to eat specifically to combat the effects on your
endocrine system.

- Eating nuts, especially Brazil nuts boosts the
available selenium in the body, and a study from
the University of Wales by Doctors Benton & Cook
has shown that this can have a really significant
effect on mood.

- When it comes to mood stabilising diet the Bard
was nearly right, it isn't 2B or not 2B that is the
question........ it's actually B6 which is the answer!
Foods which are rich in vitamin B6 include
bananas, cabbage and oily fish.

- Folic acid is another mood booster as proved by
recent research - you can get your daily dose from
citrus fruit, spinach and wholegrain foods which are
packed with the stuff.

- As I talked about last week, we also have a really
easy way to build up the bodies natural feel good
chemicals - the endorphins. Once again the mighty
chilli comes to the rescue, rich in capsaicin.

If your heart has begun to sink at the prospect of 4 long
winter months ahead of you, just hum the chorus from
Eric & Ernie's classic, eat a happy diet and turn on your
own personal light relief.







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