Feeling the Winter Blues
Do you ever feel as winter approaches you find it more difficult to wake up in the morning or feel like you start lacking energy to perform everyday activities, and maybe finding it more difficult concentrating on completing daily tasks? Maybe you are not sure what’s causing you to feel down every year when the season changes, it gets colder, and the days get shorter. While many people just go year to year feeling a drop in energy level or depressed around the time the season changes into winter, it could actually be a mood disorder, called “Seasonal Affective Disorder”, or referred to as “SAD” .Between 4%-6% of people in the United States suffer from SAD. Another 10% to 20% may experience a mild form of winter- onset SAD (AAFP), or what’s commonly known as having the winter blues. While this type of depression is seasonal, starting in late fall to early winter, and in most cases, it fades as the weather changes into spring and summer, it can lead to major depression. Also, it is more common among woman than men. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter, or, less frequently, in the summer, spring, or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. Once regarded skeptically by the experts, seasonal affective disorder is now well established(Wikipedia).The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that some people experience serious mood changes when the seasons change and may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. SAD was first formally described and named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health (Wikipedia). Rosenthal, a psychiatrist, also wrote a book on the subject. In his book he says that, “one of the most astonishing facts to emerge from recent research is that most people in the...
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