By: Larry Studt, M.D., Occupational Health & Medicine Program, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Hospitals
If you get depressed during the shorter days of winter but then begin to feel much better each year when spring arrives, you may have SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. While a lot of people suffer from the "winter blues" those diagnosed with SAD are affected by a very real type of depression. Experts aren't sure exactly what causes SAD, but some think it may be caused by a lack of sunlight. Lack of light may upset your sleep/wake cycle and your body's biological clock.
Symptoms of SAD can include being very hungry (especially craving carbs); weight gain; sleeping more than usual; anxiety or depression; feeling hopeless; and loss of energy. It's normal to have some days when you feel more down than usual, but if symptoms start interfering with your work or your ability to carry out your day, it's important to seek help from a healthcare professional.
Be sure to watch the "Ask the Doc" video to learn more!
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