There are an increasing amount of individuals who suffer from depression during the winter months. The signs and symptoms typically show up as oversleeping, tiredness during the day, crying spells, irritable, decreased activity, trouble concentrating, body aches, and poor sex drive to name a few.
These symptoms typically begin in the fall, and continue until spring; becoming increasingly more intense during the shorter days of winter where sunlight is decreased.
Medicinenet.com comments on a condition called Seasonal Affected Disorder, also known as SAD, a form of depression, caused by the reduction of daylight during the winter months
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that tends to occur (and recur) as the days grow shorter in the fall and winter. It is believed that affected people react adversely to the decreasing amounts of sunlight and the colder temperatures as the fall and winter progress.
It is important to note that although seasonal affective disorder usually presents in the fall and winter there are those who suffer from this condition during the summer instead of, or in addition to, during the fall or winter.
There are many ways to combat this condition. The Mayo Clinic advises to try the following:try
1. Make your environment sunnier and brighter. Open blinds, trim tree branches that block sunlight or add skylights to your home. Sit closer to bright windows while at home or in the office.
2. Get outside. Take a long walk, eat lunch at a nearby park, or simply sit on a bench and soak up the sun. Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.
3. Exercise regularly. Physical exercise helps relieve stress and anxiety, both of which can increase seasonal affective disorder symptoms. Being more fit can make you feel better about yourself, too, which can lift your mood.
Watch the video on types and symptoms from Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Kristina Deligiannidis, MD
There is help for those who suffer from this disorder. Many times the hurting individual needs assitance to encourage outings, vacations or treatment. Be proactive in reaching out to others this winter.