With changing seasons come changing moods

woman practicing light therapy While many shrug it off as having the “winter blues,” being routinely sad during the winter can be a more serious condition than you think. If you feel this way, it’s possible you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression triggered by shorter daylight hours in the changing seasons. While the exact mechanisms aren’t understood, reduced sunlight in the winter hours seems to alter your internal clock, affecting brain chemicals involved in mood and sleep. 

Symptoms of SAD include feeling withdrawn or hopeless, having low energy, oversleeping and gaining weight during fall and winter months. Luckily, SAD is easily treatable so speak with your doctor if you think you have the condition. The most common treatment for SAD is light therapy, in which sufferers use a light box to replace the lost sunlight of winter. Your doctor may recommend other treatments, such as antidepressants, talk therapy and increasing your intake of vitamin D.