A funny thing relating to my depression just happened about an hour ago.
Even though it was Sunday and I had slept in, and the weather was sunny and beautiful, and it was only 1:30, I decided to take a nap, which was pretty convenient, since I still had my pajamas on.
But the minute I crawled into bed, my phone went off. Daughter # 2 texting me.
This went on for a few minutes until daughter #1 decided to text me as well.
I got the message from the Universe: get out of bed and get dressed.
So I did.
And that’s when the texts pretty much stopped.
How is this Relevant to Depression?
I tell you this for several reasons:
- Depression is often a companion to ADHD
- The winter months are often prime time for depression, especially for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere
- Medication does not always manage all of the symptoms of depression
So let’s talk about what I did right after that little eye opener. 😉
First, as I said, I got dressed in real clothes that I wouldn’t be ashamed to be seen in publicly.
Then I went downstairs and because it was a beautiful day, I went outside with the dog. I soaked up some sun – which gives us much needed vitamin D – and I noted that my sage had survived the winter and was still growing.
What Does Going Outside have to do with Depression?
- Vitamin D is something many of us are deficient in, especially if we live in the northern United States or further north into Canada. (The same is true across the world – the further north you are, the more likely you are deficient.) Vitamin D can be absorbed from the sun – but only directly, not through glass – and can be valuable in treating depression.
- Time spent in nature – being outside on my deck, with my dog, and seeing real live plants – can be helpful in treating depression and can also help with ADHD symptoms, sort of like meditating.
Now I should mention that I am on antidepressant medication as well. A couple of months ago I accidentally went off of it for a few weeks and began to notice some really concerning things; I was weepy and overly emotional, sometimes sad, sometimes angry. When I realized what was happening, I got right back on the meds. I probably should have seen my doctor first, but I didn’t.
If you don’t take or want to take prescription medications for depression, you can try herbal remedies like Sam-e, ginkgo biloba, lavender, lemon balm, or kava. I have used many of these in the past, but personally did not find them effective enough for me. I do like lemon balm for calming though.
It’s important to get out as much as you can when you are suffering from depression. Seeing friends or just being outside can be helpful.
Seeking counseling can also help; I find that useful at times.
I also journal and meditate as a way to calm my thoughts and help me be more positive.
What about you?
Do you find the winter months more depressing? What do you do to help yourself?
I think that is great advice. I have found the same thing to be helpful. I also have a vestibular disorder which is becoming more prevalent for more and more people I am learning. It’s easy to see why. Our culture has given us sensory overload for our amazing inner ears through technological advances and the important job they maintain 24 hours a day is challenged even more.
Anyway, I am noticing how very much I crave and miss the sunshine since I am doing PT for my inner ear, and I get exhausted from the brain work. I keep wondering if the exercises will help my ADD! I find it really helps my focus some days. Sometimes I feel so much better, but a change in the weather and bam, I’m dizzy and lightheaded again. Just going to church today was a major accomplishment! But, so worth it. Ironically, the sun in the Deep South seems to shine more brightly on colder days here than warmer, because we never get snow clouds.
So, you have convinced me. I hereby commit to getting outside every day, even if it’s just to be and relax. Sometimes the walking makes me more dizzy, but sometimes it energizes me. So, I am getting out there. Even if it’s just to sit on my favorite park bench I miss so much since this Vestibular therapy began. It’s hard to do, but even 10 minutes could be helpful.
So, if someone sees a dizzy lady smiling on a park bench tomorrow, well, that’s me. I may stumble a bit and feel the spins, but the sun should be still !
Thanks for this great article.When it comes to ADHD often times the nutritional part is often underrated. Did you know? Plenty of members from the medical community have concluded that suboptimal levels of omega-3 fatty acids may contribute to symptoms of ADHD and related developmental problems as well as various other mental health problems that appear during a person’s lifetime. This article goes more into depth: http://blog.nutritionhacks.io/add-omega-3-fish-oil-apart-diet/
Thank you for the information!
I have to confess, I am not always good about taking omega 3 supplements. I just can’t find one that doesn’t taste fishy!
I have always said that nutrition plays a big part in treating ADHD as well as other conditions. After all, how can you have a healthy brain if you don’t feed it healthy food?
There is a small nature preserve and Arboretum I can visit after work. The Arboretum has become a glorified dog park but the nature preserve bans dogs. The nature preserve/bird sanctuary closes at 5 but I go in the back way. It is bliss. But winter is a challenge. Lucky or unlucky for me I’ve coped by avoiding people so extreme weather is my love because no normal person likes to walk for hours in the pouring rain or 100 degree heat. I do.
I only discovered I have ADD two months ago when for the first time in my life I listened to the symptoms. What a revelation! I was happy and sad because I’ve had it all my life so I’ve suffered the depression/anxiety from a very young age but I was glad to know what it is that was such a mystery to me. Now, when I shake my protein smoothy all over the kitchen because I forgot to snap the pourspout shut, I don’t go into an angry, self-belittling fit but tell myself, “That’s what happens when you’re distracted,” and clean it up right away. It’s all the little things I forgive myself for now that I used to beat myself up constantly and I can feel the difference when I go about my usual daily routine. It’s better to know than suffer in ignorance.
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Hi Brenda, thank you for being open and for your advice. It’s great that texts from your daughter can help you get out of bed!
And yes, the sun is magical 🙂
For me personally, I found the perfect combination between nutrition, vitamin supplements and living a healthy lifestyle, to deal with my ADD symptoms. I’m not even on medication (anymore).
Have you ever tried meditation?
I’ve written two articles, about ADD and vitamin supplements and ADD and a gluten free diet. If you are interested:
I also strongly believe that processed sugar makes you depressed. Cutting down on processed sugar definitely made me a happier person.
+ exercising helps a lot!
(I will definitely try the CBD Karinna, tnx for the tip!)