It’s very common to feel down or blue during the winter months. But if your winter blues start permeating all aspects of your life — from work to personal relationships — you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:
• Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
• Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
• Low energy
• 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
How do you treat SAD?
Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medication.
Other treatments include:
• Making your environment sunnier and brighter
• Spending more time outside
• Exercising regularly
When to seek professional help
It’s normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can’t get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor or a counselor.
Your employee benefits include access to free counseling. Check with your human resource department for details.