It’s the most wonderful time of the year, yet some folks get depressed, anxiety-ridden, and gosh darn tired.
Sounds a lot like a case of the “winter blues,” but Kristina Finnel, Director of Programs with Mental Health America, says seasonal affective disorder — or SAD — is more serious than just the blues. And it affects a lot of people.
SAD is more prevalent in the winter months because of the shorter days. Finnel says the lack of sunlight disrupts our inner clock, and triggers many symptoms for an estimated 1/2 million people every winter.
“A lot of depression, guilt, loss of self-esteem, hopelessness, despair, anxiety, tension, inability to deal with stress, mood changes, a lot of feeling of fatigue, over eating, social problems as well as sexual problems.”
According to Finnel, light therapy has proven to be successful in relieving the symptoms of SAD up to 85%. If that doesn’t work, she says some folks might find relief with anti-depressants. Finnel says it’s important that one doesn’t ignore the symptoms and simply try to “buck-up,” otherwise it’ll only get worse over the winter months.
Monday was the shortest day of the year, so think positively as each day is a tad longer than the previous day.
Jackie Johnson 1:36