You don’t have to be SAD this winter

It’s dark. Sometimes it feels like you never see the sun. It’s cold. It isn’t easy to go outside and walk around. All of the sudden, you are feeling the winter blahs. You have cabin fever. This is what we call Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

This is a form of depression that happens to some of us in the winter. It can begin in adolescence or early adulthood and is more common in women than men.

Why do we get it? Lack of light, lower body temperatures, and hormonal changes contribute to a feeling of decreased energy and a lack of concentration — especially in afternoons. You may also find yourself craving carbohydrates and being hungry more often. And it’s common to lose interest in work or other things, including socializing with others.

So what can you do? Medicines, such as some of the anti depressants, can help. So does light therapy, which is the use of a special lamp that can mimic sunlight at home or work.

But the key is seeing somebody who can help if the symptoms of SAD become a problem for you. This can be a big concern as SAD can sometimes progress into a major depressive syndrome.

The good news is that people usually feel better as the seasons change and adults can adjust to this disorder when it is identified and treated properly. So hang in there, find some light, and treat this problem as the serious issue it is.

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