Aromatherapy: Seasonal Affective Disorder

| 9/15/2009 12:05:04 PM


Brenda Stansfield is a licensed massage therapist, certified clincial aromatherapist and the creator of the Clear My Head product line, sold in spas nationally at She belives aromatherapy should be simple and easy to incorporate into a hectic lifestyle.

It's that time of year again. The kids are back at school and the holidays are looming in front of us. Just when we need all the energy we can muster, IT descends upon us: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). For many individuals in northern climates, myself included, the onset of seasonal depression is signaled by a sense of emptiness, fatigue, lethargy, food cravings, lack of concentration and/or disturbed sleep patterns. Once dismissed as 'simply the blues', mainstream medicine has acknowledged that this is a true disorder affecting as many as one in 20 individuals during the fall and winter months. Reduction of sunlight is often cited as a primary cause of SAD. Without the correct full spectrum light patterns that we are used to during the summer months, our neurotransmitter serotonin levels become irregular and an increase of the hormone melatonin (from the pineal gland) causes us to be come depressed at varying degrees.

Most people will 'snap out of it' on their own, others can benefit from holistic care: aromatherapy, light therapy, herbal supplements and a sunny vacation!

(Please note that severely depressed or suicidal individuals should seek the care of a physician and may need to consider the addition of antidepressant care. Never dismiss or self-treat massive depressive disorders yourself or encourage anyone to discontinue medication when being treated by a physician).

As a southern girl transplanted to Ohio, I know only too well how devastating and debilitating this disorder can be. In fact, SAD is what first brought me to aromatherapy. For me it was a natural choice to help prevent the onset of a mild depressive episode. Since aromatherapy doesn't require much time, it is a perfect way to incorporate a feeling of wellness during the bleakest months of the year.

12/19/2014 5:49:33 AM

I could not agree more with what you're saying about SAD.... I too am affected by this disorder, but to a greater degree than many, for I have been diagnosed with major depression as well. Yes I have my meds that I take RELIGIOUSLY, & my computer is next to a window where I get as much sunlight as I can.... but I'm wondering, if LED lightbulbs would give me the full spectrum light that I need to combat this? I am in the process of switching all lighting to LED to conserve $$ on my electric bill....were it not for the utility bill, I would just buy the full spectrum lights & be done with it... I welcome & would appreciate any & all thoughts on this... Merry Christmas & God Bless! : )

Subscribe today and save 58%

Get the latest on Healthy Living and Natural Beauty!

Mother Earth LivingRedefine beauty and embrace holistic living with Mother Earth Living by your side. Each issue  provides you with easy, hands-on ways to connect your life with the natural world -- from eating seasonally to culinary and medicinal uses of herbs; from aromatherapy and DIY cosmetics to yoga and beyond. Start your journey to holistic living today and you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter