The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) are similar to the psychological affects of Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS), which are similar to symptoms of generalized depression, which all astoundingly mimic the effects of vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, regardless of your gender.
See for yourself ...
Clinical Features of Low Calcium Levels1
- Impaired memory
- Impaired intellectual capacity
- Personality disturbances
- Neuromuscular irritability
- Muscle cramps
- Paresthesias (feeling of pins and needles)
- Tetany (muscle spasms)
So, a cheap, effective, and healthy2 way to boost vitamin D and calcium (assuming you're getting some calcium in your diet) is sun exposure. And it doesn't take much, 10 minutes of mid-day summer sun (a bit longer in winter) on the face and hands will give you the current Daily Value for vitamin D (400 IU).
But if the sun fails to shine and you've hidden your luscious curves behind flannel-lined khakis and down-filled parkas ... if facing the day has become an exercise in tolerance, and you think Joy is the name of a dishwashing liquid ... try the supplement approach. A minimum of 400 IU (but no more than 2000 IU) vitamin D may be the thing to reacquaint you with your optimism.
1 Thys-Jacobs S. Micronutrients and the premenstrual syndrome: the case for calcium. J Am Coll Nutr. 2000;19(2):220-7.
2 Our bodies use a molecule of cholesterol to make a molecule of vitamin D. What a handy way to use up excess cholesterol.