T Nation

Seasonal Depression and Anti-Depressants

Hi. Many years I get seasonal depression and usually choose to take an anti depressant for a month or so to get me through…they make workouts sooo not good tho (heart rate weird…sluggish etc) working out helps mood … and some days workouts are the only thing in winter I don’t hate! What anti depressants don’t hurt lifting and exercise? This is a real question and hoping you have an article(s) about this. Otherwise I can just hate everything and everyone and not hate workouts this winter if I go drug free? :roll_eyes:

Some reasonable evidence suggesting that seasonal depression is caused, at least in part, by vitamin d3 deficiency (less sun less vitamin d).

Take a replacement dose for a few weeks (5-10,000iu) then move to maintainance dose (2-4000iu).

Its one of the few supplements I swear by and use year round.

You may also want to investigate purchasing lights during the darker months.

Sunlight stimulates our brain to stop producing melatonin. When it’s constantly dark our brain uses serotonin to produce melatonin which can lead to reduced serotonin levels.

Research lights for seasonal affective disorder.

Also this. Supplementing with 5-htp can help prevent deficiency here. Another supplement I love in the winter.

Ok great thanks. Yes I do the light thrarapy at dark thirty in the morn and sunshine at lunch break and vitamin d…and l-thesomething…will try the 5-htp. Thanks for the tips!

I’m just getting anxiety for not being able to get enough hours at work, but nope antidepressants must be left alone they aren’t good.
P.S. I can channel my anxiety with making my own songs and share them out with my friends!

I’ve suffered through SAD most of my adult life. Just understanding that it is a real thing has helped tremendously. Light therapy with a real light box helps. So do the supps already suggested. Not to sound like a supplement whore, but I have found Brain candy to really helps and take it religiously during the winter months. Once daylight savings rolls around I’m good to go! I take the Brain candy as soon as I get up and hit the light box for 20 mins. Then it’s a quick series of kettlebell swings to get my body temp up and feel like I’m alive. Make sure you are getting enough Omega 3s. Never miss a workout. Research shows it’s more effective than any antidepressant you can take. Cheers!

Not to sound harsh, but in my opinion, you need to work harder to adjust your attitude and take more actions to change your lifestyle. Yeah, seasonal depression is “real”, I feel it too, there’s no sunshine or green to look at outside, it’s always cold. Whatever! Taking a pill for something you can easily deal with yourself is not a good way to deal with the natural stresses of life. Make sure you’re getting enough vitamin D, sleep, and eating properly. Personally I noticed depression symptoms if my sodium and iodine intake isn’t on point, just something to throw in there.

Just my thoughts, seasonal depression is not worth taking anti-depressants over.

I don’t want to suggest that everyone can move to Texas, but I used to get seasonal depression every winter, and took anti depressants (citalopram/escitalopram) for it, and it completely went away after I moved to a warmer winter climate.

I think the light/d3 thing is very real and I haven’t been on the meds in 5 years now. If you can’t get sun, I would definitely consider the vitamins and lightbox.

I would not recommend citalopram. It stabilized my mood. I never got too low, but I also never got too happy either. As far as side effects, it made it very hard to climax. Very hard. That is a common side effect of the drug, and my doctor said once people are on it for long enough it may be a persistent issue even after stopping the drug. I am super glad to be off of it.

Yup. I absolutely moved from MN to Atlanta years ago. Helped for sure…going to try the 5-htp this year as that’s the only one I have not added…and will schedule a vacation infebruary. Lol only other thing I can think of