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How Are You Doing? Really?

How are you feeling….really?  Winter is in full swing and there is less sunlight. If you notice that you aren’t feeling like your normal self, you are not alone! Many people experience seasonal depression.  The lack of Vitamin D can cause what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It is appropriately abbreviated as SAD.  Typically the symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer.

Signs and Symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Low energy3
  • Problems with sleeping
  • Changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicide

It is normal to feel down sometimes.  If you start to feel down for days at a time and you can’t seem to get motivated towards activities you once enjoyed, you may need to see someone.  It is very important to seek professional help if you notice changes in your weight or sleep patterns.

While the causes of SAD are unclear, there are some factors that may come into play:

  • Your biological clock – The reduced level of sunlight in fall/winter can cause changes to your biological clock.  This may lead to feelings of depression.
  • Serotonin levels – Less sunlight also means less serotonin produced by our body.  The drop in serotonin levels can trigger depression.
  • Melatonin levels – Changes in the seasons can also disrupt the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

It is so important to seek help if you notice symptoms, because treatment can help prevent complications.  If you wait too long, you may experience serious disruptions in your normal life! Call us at 228-6194 if you feel that you need an evaluation! For more details, you can also visit: