Who hasn’t said “I have the winter blahs!!” I know I have. We sometimes feel that way here in Northern Minnesota when we’ve been shoveling for days, the temperature hasn’t been above zero and we haven’t seen the sun for a week.
Well, what if it’s more than just the winter “blahs?”
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in season.” SAD typically affects people beginning in the late fall through winter and although less common can affect people during spring and summer.
Common symptoms for winter onset SAD can include irritability, trouble getting along, over sleeping, hypersensitivity, change in appetite, and weight gain. Spring and summer onset symptoms include depression, weight loss, poor appetite, trouble sleeping, and high anxiety.
It is recommended that you see your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following: changes in your sleeping and eating habits, feeling hopeless, thoughts of suicide, or turning to alcohol for comfort or relaxation.
Treatments for SAD can include psychotherapy, light therapy, antidepressant medication, or holistic alternatives such as melatonin, acupuncture, or yoga. As always, consult your doctor before beginning any form of treatment.