Don’t underestimate the importance of environment if you are living in depression…
The environment that you live in and that surrounds you every day can be an extremely important factor as far as getting rid of depression is concerned. For example, consider seasonal afflictive disorder. If winter-onset SAD is the form of depression that afflicts you, have you ever considered that there are many countries in the world where they have no winter?
For instance, in many countries in Southeast Asia, the temperatures never fall below 20°C and they have several hours of sunshine every day of the year (and they happen to be among the cheapest countries in the world to live in too). Rates of depression are much higher in those parts of the world where they have long, harsh winters, so if this is the kind of depression that is afflicting you, why stay there?
As an example, the colder states of the USA have far greater numbers of people who suffer a vitamin D deficiency than the sunnier states like Florida and California. Vitamin D is extremely important for human beings for several reasons. It encourages the absorption of calcium in the body (vital for strong teeth, bones and a healthy nervous system) and helps to prevent certain types of cancer as well. Most importantly, vitamin D also plays a vital role in regulating bodily hormones, and as we have already seen, it is believed that hormones and neurotransmitters play an extremely important role in controlling depression.
Do you have vitamin D deficiency?
It is the effect of sunlight on your body which promotes the production of vitamin D, so without sunlight, you have the situation where so many people suffer a vitamin D deficiency. Without vitamin D, you have a hormone problem and you therefore have increased levels of depression.
Even if you live in a colder climate, it is possible that you will see the sun from time to time, and whenever you do, you should get out there to get as much sun on your face as possible. Even as little as 15 to 20 minutes of sunshine every day can make a significant difference to the vitamin D. levels in your body, so you should do whatever you can to see the sun as often as possible. It would make far more sense if you are a person who suffers from seasonal afflictive disorder to live somewhere that you can see the sun for several hours every day…
The alternative is to use artificial light sources like bright light therapy or full-spectrum lighting. There are plenty of online resources where you can buy the equipment you need to generate the right kind of artificial light to overcome problems caused by vitamin D deficiencies. Run appropriate Google searches using phrases such as ‘bright light therapy’:
There are 297,000 web pages called up by Google to this search term
The majority of them are for companies who are selling exactly the kind of product you are looking for. There are still more web pages indexed by Google for ‘full spectrum lighting’: A significant proportion of these web pages have been published by companies selling the kind of product you want to buy. This is all very well, but this is focused on a small section of the depression market (i.e. those with seasonal afflictive disorder), so you might question what this would have to do with someone suffering from major depression, for example.
The answer is, nothing directly, but if you were to wake up to the sunshine every day knowing that the beach was just a few minutes away, wouldn’t that naturally lift your spirits? Granted, this change is not likely to banish your depression woes entirely, but it would certainly represent a very positive step in the right direction. To put it the other way round, it is going to be a lot easier to feel encouraged by life when the world around you is beautiful, sunny and warm every day as opposed to being bleak, grey and cold for at least half of the year. Try to isolate what the probable cause of your depression is as a first step to seeking a natural cure for your problem.