Depression and migraines go hand-in-hand.
It’s not surprising, really. Suffering a unpredictable, uncontrollable disease is depressing. Living in pain is depressing. The notion that you may have to live this way forever is beyond depressing.
But depression is more than just being sad. Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain. You can’t just turn it off and become happy again.
Except, in some cases, you can.
An Easy Remedy for Depression
It turns out that vitamin D deficiency is one of the chemical imbalances that causes depression.
In Power of Vitamin D, Dr. Zaidi describes several studies that show the association between vitamin D levels and depression. One study showed a high correlation between low levels of vitamin D and clinical depression (1). In another study, a single high dose of vitamin D reduced depression for at least three months after it was given (2).
I have found for myself that taking a vitamin D supplement does pick up my mood when I start getting depressed.
I first heard of this research after suffering from depression for over a decade. At that time, adding a vitamin D supplement to my daily regimen got me back on track.
An Unintended Experiment
Over the weekend I neglected to take my daily vitamins, and that trend continued through this afternoon.
Today I noticed myself falling back into that old pattern of self-criticism and hopelessness. Initially, I chalked it up to the fact that I’m currently dealing with the loss of a loved one and the interpersonal tension that goes along with grieving.
Around 2 pm I noticed my vitamins sitting there on the kitchen counter untouched. Recalling what I just read in Dr. Zaidi’s book and my own past experience, I quickly downed a double dose of vitamin D.
And here I am, just a few hours later, feeling normal again.
What I Learned About Migraines Today
We’re always running experiments with our health. Whether you’re intentionally testing something new, or just coasting along trying to live your life, every day is an experiment.
Unfortunately, in living our lives, we have a tendency to forget what we’ve learned before, and we have to do the same experiments again to remind ourselves of what works.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because repeatable results are real results.
I’m happy I was able to repeat these results and remember that there is an easy remedy for depression that works for me. You will have to try an experiment yourself to find out if it works for you.
(1) Hoang MT1, Defina LF, Willis BL, Leonard DS, Weiner MF, Brown ES. Association between low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and depression in a large sample of healthy adults: the Cooper Center longitudinal study. Mayo Clin Proc. 2011 Nov;86(11):1050-5.
(2) Mozaffari-Khosravi H1, Nabizade L, Yassini-Ardakani SM, Hadinedoushan H, Barzegar K. The effect of 2 different single injections of high dose of vitamin D on improving the depression in depressed patients with vitamin D deficiency: a randomized clinical trial. J Clin Psychopharmacol. 2013 Jun;33(3):378-85.