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Understanding and treating minor depression for at-home dads

Feeling cranky? Consider a vitamin D supplement to cure your wintertime blues.
Feeling cranky? Consider a vitamin D supplement to cure your wintertime blues.
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The last thing that most at-home dads want to admit is that they can't handle their role or are feeling overwhelmed. It's like telling somebody you can't walk and chew gum at the same time.

But if you or your spouse are feeling a bit off-kilter, there might be a simple and effective vitamin that can help big time. 

The winter months are prime for something called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In layman's terms, people, especially in the Upper Midwest, get far less exposure to sunlight in the wintertime. That can lead to a vitamin D deficiency which makes symptoms of depression more prevalent. It's like Cabin Fever.

Some of the most common symptoms of depression are:

- Crankiness

- Bad attitude

- Sleeplessness

- Weight gain

- Poor concentration

- Low energy

There are very few foods that include Vitamin D. Instead, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, it is produced mainly when your body is exposed to sunlight. It's no secret that during the wintertime here in the Upper Midwest we could use a bit more sun, so we should be particularly sensitive about this topic.

For stay-at-home dads, and stay-at-home parents for that matter, it's a simple diagnosis: we become a lot less active during this time of the year, which leads to daily monotony, which leads to a "who-cares?" effect. When you start feeling like things concerning your kids or the household aren't a big deal, it's time to evaluate yourself.

Many recent studies are linking minor depression with a vitamin D deficiency. And because most at-home dads are both stuck in the house most of the time during the winter, and generally unaware of these types of studies, we are very succeptable to SAD. 

As an at-home father, do yourself and your family a favor and be aware of some of these potential behavioral glitches. Whether you want to take something for it or not, you need to be aware of your own health and take the appropriate steps to be the best dad you can be.

After all, that's what being an at-home dad is all about, right?


  • Sonny 5 years ago

    When the wife says it's too cold to take them out, I feel couped-up sometimes with the kids. Shocking to discover that kids get those feelings, too. We lift the shades, turn on extra lights, watch summer movies, camp in the family room, eat hot dogs or sloppy joes. Vitamin D is a great start to your day, and activities can help those depressing thoughts and that cabin fever, too.

  • DAD 5 years ago

    That's great advice, Sonny. You sound like an attentive father. Kudos. I like how you noted that being stuck inside affects kids as much as adults. Very true. And as at-home dads, we need to be vigilant about those depression symptoms and curb them with activities as much as possible.

  • Perry P. Perkins 5 years ago

    Totally agree. My first winter as a SAHD was rough, and I was diagnosed with SAD. I really believe that the vitamin D helps, as does a daily "out of the house" excersize program.


    Portland Fatherhood Examiner

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