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The SAD Season Strikes America

For Americans, particularly those who live in the Northern Hemisphere, just a reminder the season of Seasonal Affective Disorder -- better known as SAD -- is upon you, if you're not already feeling a bit depressed.

The only good news about SAD -- a condition affecting as much as 20 percent of all Americans and largely women -- is that conventional medicine is finally starting to accept this as a real problem that must be diagnosed and treated, says one Harvard expert.

Some interesting facts about SAD:

  • Side effects range from the "mild and self-limiting," according to experts, to suicidal thoughts.
  • SAD can be misdiagnosed for some physical illnesses -- mononucleosis and hypothyroidism -- and vice versa.

Unfortunately, one of the safest and most natural treatments for SAD -- getting a healthy dose of vitamin D-rich sunshine -- may not be at all feasible in your part of the country. To get your optimal amount of vitamin D during the winter months, I recommend taking a high quality cod liver oil.

Another crucial component to my protocol for treating SAD: Full spectrum light therapy that can help you feel better physically and mentally after two to three days of treatments.

Detroit Free Press December 27, 2005

MSNBC December 16, 2005

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