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For children, winter is all about Christmas, sled riding and hot chocolate, but for some adults the bleak winter months can seem to drag on forever and that can be dangerous to their mental health.
It is estimated that 2% of the population actually develops depression due to the winter season. It is called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. People with SAD have repeat symptoms every winter season.
"They may ask their doctor, primary care-giver, psychiatrist, you know, 'what is going on?' Every year it seems like I get this blah feeling, I don't want to do anything, I'm tired, I am gaining weight or losing weight or not sleeping. What do you think it could be?" says Kathy Chapman a Behavior Health Specialist at Genesis-Bethesda Hospital.
To treat SAD, psychiatrists can prescribe anti-depressants or light therapy. The special lights can be purchased in stores and give off brighter rays than traditional lights. If you do not have SAD and just have a case of the winter blues, spending time with friends can be the best remedy.
"I try to hang out more with friends and family, do things around the house, wrap presents, that makes me happy for the holidays," says Ryan Simonis as she shopped with her family at the mall.
If being around loved ones doesn't make you feel better, Genesis is offering a partial hospitalization program for adults and children. For more information on partial hospitalization call (740) 455-4930.