How to Treat SAD Without Medication

Do you notice that you feel down at certain times of the year? Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects millions of Americans each year. Fortunately, there are many ways to treat SAD symptoms without prescription drugs. Here are a few ways that you can treat SAD without medication.


Acupuncture has helped people with all sorts of problems for hundreds of years. Those who want to avoid medication when treating SAD should consider taking advantage of this tried and true treatment option. An experienced acupuncturist inserts thin needles into different parts of the body to promote balance. This is accomplished by targeting different meridians, or energy channels. Don’t be afraid of the needles; they are extremely thin and don’t cause much discomfort if any. Acupuncture takes time to work, so don’t wait until the middle of winter when you’re down in the dumps to seek treatment. Talk with an experienced acupuncturist to create the right treatment plan.

Stick to a Routine

One of the ways people suffering from SAD struggle is by having problems sleeping at night and waking up in the morning. The limited sunlight during the winter season can throw off the internal clock, making it more difficult to regulate sleep patterns. As with any type of depression, a lack of proper sleep can only make things worse. Quality sleep is a must for tackling SAD.

Sticking to a regular routine can help alleviate signs and symptoms of seasonal depression by helping regulate the body’s circadian rhythms. Try to wake up and go to bed at the same time each day. Consider a nightly bedtime routine to ensure that you wind down for a good night’s rest. A warm bath or a cup of herbal tea can help you prepare for a great night’s sleep.


Avoiding medication doesn’t mean that you can’t call in a professional. Psychotherapy is an effective way to manage SAD. It’s also vital to get your SAD diagnosed by a pro. A therapist can give you a questionnaire that will help both of you determine if your symptoms are caused by SAD or another condition. Fortunately, a mental health professional knows which questions to ask to get to the root cause of your depression symptoms.

Although SAD can be a difficult diagnosis, the good news is that there are lots of ways you can deal with it besides medication. If you use the right treatment plan, you can beat SAD and feel your best at every time of the year.

Here’s another article you might like: How Staying Active Helps Your Mental Health