Eau Claire (WQOW) – The cold, wet seasons of fall and winter, for some, come with a price tag marked happiness.
According to health officials, seasonal depression, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is more common in the northern parts of the U.S. The most common type occurs during the end of fall and early winter, and usually improves come springtime.
Mayo Clinic Health System physicians said symptoms include mood and sleep changes, fatigue, weight gain and more.
“For some people it can be very severe and can be life-altering,” said Dr. Kyja Stygar, physician at Mayo Clinic Health System. “Some people, if they have depression on top of seasonal depression, or underlying depression on top of seasonal depression, it could be life-threatening for them.”
Stygar said you can fight the winter blues by following these tips:
- Take Vitamin D supplements, or antidepressants.
- Use a light box or lamp for light therapy. The light must be 10,000 LUX. Use the light for 30 to 60 minutes a day. The lack of light in winter months can decrease your serotonin levels.
- When the sun is out, you should be too.
- Make sure to exercise (aerobic).
- Get a good night sleep. To make it easier, turn off technology an hour before hitting the hay.
Stygar did mention new treatments like using blue light therapy, but no data has been released. For more information on SAD, see here.