Seasonal Affective Disorder

Please don’t be SAD.

Half a million people suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) in the UK. This tends to be between September and April, affecting women far more than men. SAD is a condition that induces feelings of depression, low mood, increased appetite, lack of energy and an increased desire to sleep during the winter months, (sounds familiar).  The symptoms that start in late autumn tend to disappear in spring and summer. In winter, the brain produces more of the hormone melatonin, which makes us feel sleepy.


  • During the winter months, cut down on stimulants such as coffee, tea, chocolate and sugar based foods and drinks.
  • Alcohol lowers the brain levels of serotonin, our happy hormone.
  • Basically cut out all the things you enjoy and just shoot yourself!


  • Fish, turkey, chicken, beans and avocados will help boost your seratonin and make you happy.
  • The brain is 60% fat, so eat plenty of oily fish rich in omega 3/6/9.
  • Porridge and non-wheat cereals in the morning are great mood foods and high in vitamin B.


  • Multigenics: A great multi vitamin & mineral complex. (2 tablets with breakfast).
  • B Complex: A lack of B vitamins is linked to depression, so this will lift your spirits. (1 tablet daily with food).
  • Eskimo Brainsharp: This essential fatty acid complex with CoQ10 will keep your brain sharp and moods stable. (2 capsules a day with food).
  • St John’s Wort Formula: Really helps fight off the winter blues. (1 capsule daily).

(These are available from NUTRI: 0800 212 742)


  • However great sun beds feel at the time, they do damage one’s skin. Accordingly, they are not recommended. Light boxes found on line or in good health shops do give you a slight “holiday feeling”.
  • Exercise during daylight to increase seratonin production.
  • Go on holiday … and don’t come back until the spring!

Happy winter.

  • Dr Marc Farah