It is January, the holidays are over, it is cold and dark outside, the trees are bare and you are feeling a bit “blue…” Or, are you feeling more than a bit blue? It is understandable that a gloomy day outside can make you feel gloomy inside, but what if it is something more? Do you feel down every time winter rolls around?
If you answered yes, you could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Some possible symptoms of SAD include:
- Increased fatigue or lethargy
- Increased irritability
- An overall feeling of sadness or hopelessness
- An increased appetite
- A lack of desire to socialize with friends or loved ones
- Inability to concentrate
- Light Therapy which can be done at home and involves regular exposure to a special lamp that mimics sunlight
- Antidepressant Medications prescribed by a Physician
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which involves changing your thoughts or behavior during the winter months. This could mean exercising more, finding an enjoyable hobby or maybe doing volunteer work.
As with any medical condition, self-diagnosis and self-medication/therapy is not the best option. While there is no test for SAD, your Nova Medical Group health care provider can make a diagnosis by asking about your history of symptoms. He or she may also perform a physical exam and blood tests to rule out other disorders that are similar to SAD.
Remember, SAD is not something to ignore, so schedule an appointment with your provider today.
-Posted by Jee Eun Lee Karl, MD