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Effective Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments to Help You Heal

Learn more about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments at Mind Body Optimization. Experience lasting wellness through comprehensive therapy.
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Our Commitment to Sustainable Treatment

At Mind Body Optimization (MBO), our outpatient health services are designed for your specific needs. To create collaborative, sustainable change, we offer guidance as you embark on your journey towards a healthier, happier you, free from the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

We work hard to ensure that you feel seen, heard, and cared for. Our dedicated team works with you every step of the way to help you heal from mental health disorders, trauma, and dual diagnosis.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

Holistic Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

We understand the connection between physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This is why we treat the entire person, recognizing the effect that every facet of our being has.

Every person is unique and requires tailored care to attain improved and sustainable mental health changes. Integrative seasonal affective disorder treatments are offered at our clinic as gold standard mental healthcare.

Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that begins during changes of the seasons. SAD can affect children, adolescents, and adults alike, but the risks of the condition often increase with age. Reduced sunlight and shorter days may cause chemical changes in the brain.1

Types of SAD

Fall-onset SAD is also known as winter depression. Symptoms may begin in the late fall to winter, but begin to ease towards summer months.
Unlike fall-onset SAD, symptoms for spring-onset SAD begin in late spring and last till summer. Spring-onset SAD is also known as summer depression.

How Common is SAD?

If you or a loved one suffers from SAD symptoms, you are not alone. A 2019 report by Boston University showed that SAD impacts over 10 million Americans.2
Symptoms are frequently seen in young adults, and the main age of onset for winter depression falls between 20 and 30 years old. However, symptoms may appear at an earlier time for some individuals as well, especially if they struggle with co-occurring disorders.3

The Effect of Seasonal Change on Mood and Energy Levels

There are several biological and physiological reasons behind mood alterations during seasonal changes. One of these reasons is the change of light experienced during seasonal changes.

Circadian Rhythms and Seasonal Change

In the human body, the circadian clock monitors changes in the length of the day. It tells the body when it’s time to fall asleep and when it’s time to stay awake.
When there’s less light during the day, some processes affected by the circadian clock get disrupted. This can in turn disrupt our mood.

How Does SAD Affect Quality of Life?

When SAD symptoms begin to disrupt daily activities and working abilities, it may be affecting your quality of life.
People with SAD often exhibit the following symptoms:
  • Loss of interest in everyday activities
  • Feeling irritable
  • Crying more frequently
  • Reduced sex drive
  • Becoming less sociable
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of despair and worthlessness
  • Insomnia or the need for more sleep than usual

Holistic and Evidence-Based Approaches to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

At Mind Body Optimization, we provide whole-person approaches to seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments.

The Importance of a Healthy Mind-Body Connection

Positive thoughts can lead to a release of feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin. In the same way, positive or negative physical sensations can also influence the mind.

How Mindfulness and Meditation Foster Mind-Body Connection

Mindfulness and meditation help reduce stress and improve happiness in life. During depressive seasons, mindfulness and meditation can be powerful tools for increasing awareness about your thoughts without the weight of judgment.

In meditation, it’s important to notice and accept thoughts and even to let go of exhausting barriers to negative thinking. Over time, this helps disrupt cycles of negative thoughts and is a valuable tool to fight against depression.

How Can Mindfulness and Meditation Help Improve SAD Symptoms?

Mindfulness and meditation can help reduce these SAD symptoms through a healthy mind-body connection:4
  • High blood pressure: Practicing mindfulness helps reduce stress, which in turn helps reduce blood pressure and lead to a healthier heart. 
  • Pain: Mindfulness meditation can be effective at decreasing chronic pain, which may be contributing to SAD symptoms for some individuals.
  • Insomnia and Sleep Quality: Diaphragmatic breathing in mindfulness and meditation can help you relax. Research showed mindfulness techniques may even improve sleep quality more than other evidence-based treatments.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): Many people with PTSD often have high levels of guilt, shame, and self-blame, which may lead to SAD throughout the year. Through purposeful introspection, meditation breaks negative emotional cycles, creating a sense of control and calm.

Yoga as Part of Holistic Recovery from SAD

Yoga is a great way to practice mind-body connection, reset the nervous system, and release stress and tension. It does this by increasing serotonin and reducing monoamine oxidase levels (MAO).

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a technique to help individuals control negative thought patterns. While treating SAD, a therapist will help you identify negative thoughts and walk you through replacing them with positive ones.
Before consulting a mental health facility like MBO, you may feel unsure about certain mental health conditions and anxious about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments. Our team is here to help answer any questions you may have so that you feel ready and empowered for treatment.

Clear Therapy Goals and Relaxing Therapeutic Methods

The goal of CBT is to identify patterns of negative thinking and examine contradicting evidence. Over time, a person can develop coping strategies to overcome negative thoughts.
CBT techniques may involve relaxation methods as a way to react to triggers. These relaxation techniques are soothing and help a patient to embrace therapeutic healing.

Potential Challenges of CBT

CBT doesn’t provide a quick fix to seasonal affective disorder. This therapy requires open-mindedness and patience in order to make progress. It’s important to be aware of the time seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments may take until you start to see an improvement in symptoms.
The length of your CBT therapy is dependent on many factors, including the following:
  • The severity of SAD symptoms
  • Support from family members and loved ones
  • If you have any co-occurring disorders

At Mind Body Optimization, conversations with licensed therapists are always kept confidential. We create a safe and structured environment where individuals can heal without worrying about judgment or lapses in trust.

How to Approach Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

Here are some helpful steps that help improve the chances of successful seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments:

Openness and Honesty During Therapy

Be willing to openly share thoughts, feelings, and experiences with your therapist. This may take time, but the importance of building a trusting relationship with your therapist is important for recovery.

Adherence to Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments

During treatment, you may start to lose motivation, especially when SAD symptoms start to flare up more intensely. When this happens, it’s important to discuss these feelings with your therapist in order to persevere on the path to recovery.

Focusing on Long-Term Goals

It’s not uncommon to want instant results and to feel worse during the initial stages of therapy. Our compassionate team at MBO is here to help you focus on long-term goals and where you want to see yourself in the future.

Prioritize Therapy Homework

It’s important to apply therapeutic interventions in day-to-day living, and your therapist may suggest “homework” assignments to help you apply these practices in everyday situations.

The Importance of Nutritional Support in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

Nutritional therapy can help provide your body with the necessary vitamins, minerals, and calories to prioritize your health needs.
Most symptoms of SAD relate to a lack of certain vitamins and minerals in the body. For instance, having suboptimal levels of Vitamin D3 can affect serotonin production, which may increase the risks of winter depression.

Customizing Dietary Plans for Mood Regulation

Since every individual has a unique lifestyle and health history, a personalized diet plan is vital for long-term wellness. MBO and our future nutritional counselors will help you determine the best plan forward for your needs.

How Diet Plans are Customized

In a customized dietary plan, the dietician or nutritionist takes note of the following factors:
  • Genetic differences
  • Metabolism variations
  • Cultural aspects
Doing this helps with accommodating personal preferences to enhance mental well-being.

Vitamins Considered in Customized Dietary Plans

Customized dietary plans for mood regulation may include the following vitamin and mineral options:

Vitamin D

As mentioned, many people experiencing SAD or other depression symptoms often have low levels of vitamin D. To increase a patient’s levels in the body, it’s advisable to consume supplements.
Other good sources include the following options:
  • Mushrooms
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon
  • Egg yolks

Vitamin B12

Deficiency of this water-soluble vitamin may also affect the increase of depression symptoms in many individuals.
Some good sources of vitamin B12 include the following:
  • Milk
  • Fortified yeast
  • Tuna
  • Clams
  • Beef liver
  • Yogurt 

Folate (B9)

Low levels of folate are linked to depression. Good sources of this vitamin include the following options:
  • Asparagus
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Liver
  • Black-eyed peas
Medications such as sulfasalazine and methotrexate can interfere with B9 levels.

Vitamin C

This vitamin is critical for several body functions, including collagen production and immune function. It helps reduce chronic inflammation and oxidative stress, which are related to depression.

Good sources of vitamin C include:
  • Broccoli
  • Strawberries
  • Kiwi
  • Bell peppers
  • Citrus fruits

Niacin (B3)

Good niacin levels in the body can help improve mood and blood pressure. Sources of niacin include these dietary options:
  • Brown rice
  • Chicken
  • Tuna
  • Beef 
  • Beef liver

Personalized Treatment Plans at Mind Body Optimization

At Mind Body Optimization, we prioritize tailored care during seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments.

Individualized Assessments for SAD

We work with you to review mental health needs and ascertain symptoms of SAD, along with any other potential co-occurring disorders. During our assessment, we will also review your medical history to understand the best approach to treatment.

Collaborative Care

Curating a treatment plan involves more than therapists. We collaborate with psychiatrists and holistic practitioners for long-term success.

Tailoring Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

When it comes to medicine, one size doesn’t fit all. For this reason, we consider your individualized needs and preferences. Our team of medical professionals will work with you to source the best treatment outcomes.
Ensuring that your needs and symptoms are taken care of compassionately and skillfully is at the forefront of our practice. We value your story, seen through your lens. This philosophy is paired with our evidence-based and holistic treatment methods for sustainable wellness options.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

Supporting Wellness Through Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatments

At Mind Body Optimization, we’re here to help you optimize the possibility of total well-being. Our compassionate team of experts will walk you through the steps in overcoming SAD.

Our Mission

We are committed to providing necessary tools to manage SAD and other mental health conditions. By empowering individuals to reach their full potential, we create a healthier community.

We believe in putting your needs first by following these principles:

  • Integrity
  • Autonomy
  • Community
  • Empowerment
  • Validation
  • Bravery

Our team challenges the status quo of mental health treatment experience. It’s our objective to form a community where each interaction reflects our dedication to transformative well-being.

Evidence-Based Treatment Modalities

Below are some of our highlighted treatment options at Mind Body Optimization:
  • Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
  • Dual Diagnosis Treatment
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Trauma-Focused Therapy Options
For a full list of treatment options available, reach out to our team of wellness experts.

Holistic Wellness Opportunities

For whole-body seasonal affective disorder (SAD) treatments, we offer these options:
  • Art Therapy
  • Experiential Therapy
  • Harm Reduction Techniques
  • Meditation
  • Motivational Enhancement Therapy (MET)
  • Motivational Interviewing (MI)
  • Music Therapy
  • Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
  • Nutritional Support and Counseling (Coming Soon)
  • Hormone Testing (Coming Soon)

Ready to Pave a Path Worth Following?

Seasonal affective disorder can be a challenge to your mental health. If you or a loved one is experiencing seasonal affective disorder symptoms, contact us today.

Reach out to Mind Body Optimization for a comprehensive mental health assessment. We’re here to help you thrive.