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Sad woman looking through the window at home

Some people call it the “Winter Blues” but Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is often more than just feeling down.  It’s a type of depression that can begin in the fall and continue into the winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorder is diagnosed more often in women than men, and it isn’t something you should have to tough out on your own.

Symptoms of SAD include having low energy, feeling listless or down most of the day, nearly every day, and losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.  You may also find yourself craving carbs and eating more, or turning to alcohol for comfort or relaxation.

People who have bipolar disorder are at an increased risk of Seasonal Affective Disorder. In some extreme cases, SAD can trigger thoughts of suicide. If you feel that you might harm yourself, you can dial 988 for the Suicide Prevention Hotline anytime or text the word HELP to 741741.

While the specific cause of SAD isn’t known, it’s believed that the reduced time of sunlight in winter may disrupt your body’s biological clock. Reduced sunlight may also cause a drop in serotonin levels that can lead to depression, and it may disrupt the balance of melatonin that affects sleep patterns and mood.

A family history of depression can also increase your risk for Season Affective Disorder. Low levels of vitamin D that’s produced by the skin when exposed to sunlight may also be a factor.

Treatment for SAD often comes down to getting more sunlight each day. This could mean spending more time outside when the sun is brightest, or using artificial light as a supplement. There are many types of fixtures designed to output the same color temperature as sunlight and you may benefit from a daily dose of this artificial light.

It’s normal to have some down days during winter, but if the feeling lasts for days and days and you can’t get motivated to do the things you enjoy, it’s time to see your health care provider. If you need to find a women’s health care provider, the team at Northline Women’s Health Center is ready to serve you in Southgate and Brownstown. You can contact us online or make an appointment today.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax