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Winter Blues or Something More? Our Tips for Seasonal Affective Disorder

The holidays have come and gone. Most of the country has already been in a deep freeze, and there are still long, harsh months of winter yet to come. It’s no wonder many people come down with a case of the “winter blues.”  

This bummed out reaction occurs when the days are shorter and you spend much more time inside. To combat these feelings, you might try light therapy, and increasing physical activity. If it lasts more than a fleeting day or two, it could be seasonal affective disorder (SAD) — a serious form of depression occurring in the winter months when there is less exposure to natural sunlight. Some symptoms of SAD include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness

  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy

  • Fatigue or decreased energy

If you suspect your mental state is more than just a bad day, consider these ways to get help:

  • The Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a 24-hour helpline (1-800-662-HELP) for mental health services if you or someone you know needs immediate attention.

  • Find a doctor. SAD is not something you should deal with without consulting a professional. After evaluation, they may be able to prescribe a medication to help you.

You can learn more about depression and other health issues at USA.gov. Don’t suffer through the entire season—enjoy what winter has to offer. It can be more than just hibernation.

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