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Last Updated on April 28, 2023

Feeling poor or moody when it is darker and chilly exterior isn’t unusual, but nevertheless, it might be a sign of seasonal affective disorder, a kind of depression that develops through the wintertime.

If sleepiness, social withdrawal and difficulty concentrating interfere with work or personal relationships, it is time to get help, according to specialists from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Professional help is especially important for those who start to feel hopeless or have thoughts of self-harm, guided Dr. Mark Frye, a Mayo shrink.

“There are a lot of people who experience winter blues. Nevertheless, there are people who are experiencing more serious symptoms,” included Dr. William Weggel, a Mayo Clinic Health System shrink, in a Mayo news release. “The great news is the fact that in the majority of instances, we’re in a position to find a treatment strategy to assist the patient through the winter months.”

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Usually, people with ideas to help people stay motivated and avoid the winter blues:

  • Take a walk outside. Sunlight reaches the brain through the eyes, stimulating the creation of serotonin, a neurotransmitter which affects mood. Less light results in lower serotonin levels. Darkness also activates the production of melatonin, which promotes sleep. So, exposure to natural light can help ease symptoms of SAD.
  • Light therapy boxes can be utilized as a substitute for natural light for individuals who can’t get outside.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day, three times weekly.
  • Socialize often with friends as well as family.

One in five Americans has seasonal affective disorder, and 75 percent of these affected by the state are girls. Folks in northern climates will also be more prone to have SAD.

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