Offset the Symptoms of the Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder

As winter approaches, some people experience the “winter blues,” feeling sad from shorter days, climbing into bed earlier, and not ready to wake up on dark mornings. 

“Winter blues” are different from Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), a type of depression related to the change in seasons. SAD begins and ends at the same time every year.  According to the Cleveland Clinic, about 5% of adults in the U.S. experience SAD whereas 10% to 20% of people may get a milder form of the winter blues. SAD affects women more than men and it tends to start in young adulthood.

The most common form of SAD occurs in winter, although some people do experience symptoms during spring and summer.

Signs and symptoms of fall and winter SAD may include:

  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed.
  • Crave comfort foods such as carbs and sugar. 
  • Problems with sleeping (usually oversleeping) and weight gain due to feelings of extreme fatigue and low energy.
It is normal to have some days when you feel down, but if you feel down for more than a few days at a time and you can’t get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, you should consider seeing a doctor.

Do not seek to diagnose yourself as you may have another reason for your depression. With Direct Primary Care, you have longer appointment times with your provider, allowing for a full evaluation to consider your pattern of symptoms as many times, SAD is part of a more complex health issue. 

There are treatments for seasonal depression. If you have any type of depression, talk to your primary care provider, they are there to help.

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