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The Love Dare-Unconditional Love Couples Counseling Confident Counseling Couples Counseling Northborough MA

Vitamin D Deficiency- The Secret Depression

Fall has officially started and for some of us, the leaves are changing and the nights are getting colder. The days are getting shorter and that means less sun exposure. Surprisingly, lack of sun can lead to medical problems that may mimic the symptoms of depression. I’m speaking about Vitamin D Deficiency- the secret depression.

This time last year I noticed that regardless of the number of hours I would sleep (sometimes 10+ on the weekends) I would still feel sluggish and exhausted. As a result of the fatigue I was irritable and had no interest in doing much of anything. It was physically painful getting up for work each morning that I ended up missing more days than I would have liked. At first glance you might think of depression but as a counselor I knew this was something else.

I immediately called my doctor and scheduled blood work tests. A couple of months later I received my lab results and found I had a Vitamin D Deficiency, specifically D3.

Here is a snippet from a MedicineNet.com article:

“Vitamin D is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). There are two forms of vitamin D, D2 and D3. Vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol, comes from fortified foods, plant foods, and supplements. Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, comes from fortified foods, animal foods (fatty fish, cod liver oil, eggs, and liver), supplements, and can be made internally when your skin is exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.” According to the vitamindcouncil.org and the Mayoclinic, there are several factors that can increase your risk of Vitamin D Deficiency such as where you live, skin color, and weight.

With my doctor’s guidance, I began taking my recommended vitamin and within a week I felt back to normal. I share this because it’s important to understand how underlying medical issues can imitate symptoms of mood disorders like depression. I definitely don’t suggest everyone stay out in the sun all day every day but I do recommend speaking with your doctor to rule out medical conditions for symptoms that appear to be mood disorders.

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