Seasonal Affective Disorder

by Brittany Harris on January 6, 2011 at 1:27 am

Feeling those winter blues? It could actually be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Therapist Jim Still-Pepper from Six County said that symptoms of this kind depression include sadness, anxiety, irritability, withdrawal from usual activities, increased appetite and need for sleep. He said that lack of sunlight during the winter can affect your mental health.

"When our body chemistry changes, the change takes place in our brain, and that can cause depression that happens during these months," he said.

Still-Pepper said the illness is more common for those living in northern geographic locations where seasonal changes are more extreme. He said the good news is that it’s treatable and offers some advice.

"Exposure to light is key, but so is staying active and being involved in things that you enjoy, being involved with people that you enjoy being with, making sure you’re not withdrawing from that, that is so crucial and so very important," said the therapist.

It is recommended to visit your doctor if you have any symptoms of depression.