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Vitamin D and Depression

July 25, 2018

              If you live in this area and have had your blood drawn recently, it is very possible that your results indicated a deficiency of vitamin D. This lack of vitamin D is common for people who live further from the equator (i.e., spend less time in the sun) and can also be caused by various medical conditions. Lower levels of vitamin D are thought to be linked to depression, although the exact form of causality is still unclear.  

              It is relatively common knowledge that vitamin D is important to building and maintaining strong teeth and bones. However, evidence also shows that vitamin D levels can also have an impact on mood. A good example is the diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder, as we are less exposed to the sun and therefore may experience increased feelings of depression in the winter. Not only that, but with the popularity of technology in recent years, it is likely that most people do not spend as much time outside as generations in the past. Some statistics indicate that as high as one fourth of the population is deficient in vitamin D and may be vulnerable to depression as a result.

              So all we need to do is go outside, drink more milk, and maybe take a vitamin, right? These steps may provide some relief, but vitamin D deficiency is only one small piece of depression. While supplementing vitamin D levels could somewhat relieve the severity of depression symptoms, it is important to look at all options to promote recovery. In addition to supplementing vitamin D, recovery from depression should include an overall healthy lifestyle and collaboration with physicians and mental health practitioners. Recovery from any mental health issues involves commitment and many small steps in a healthier and happier direction.

              If you think you might be deficient in vitamin D, ask your doctor to order a blood test to be certain. As always, if you are struggling with depression and need help finding ways to move forward in recovery, call Main St. Psychiatry today.

Original material found at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-breakthrough-depression-solution/201111/psychological-consequences-vitamin-d-deficiency

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-between-the-headlines/201307/vitamin-d-deficiency-and-depression

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