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Winter Blues or SAD?

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.