During the winter, the “blues” seem to catch up with many people, particularly in the cold climates. Classic theories have ranged from the stress of holiday demands to feeling lonesome or disappointed when holiday emotional expectations are not met.
In recent years, a new understanding of the role that less natural daylight plays in winter depression has given these blues a whole new meaning. Known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a number of natural methods are being used with success to relieve symptoms.
Light therapy is the most proven approach, but not everyone responds to it. St. John’s wort has been effective alone or with light therapy; be sure to check with your doctor before using this as it can interact with some medications. 5-hydroxytryptophan is used by some, and supplementation with melatonin is also being explored; these last two treatments have not yet been well studied for SAD.
A free article from Alternative Medicine Review offers a summary of current thought and therapies (the document is a PDF ) SAD Review