Do the seasons affect our moods?

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Do the seasons affect our moods?

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Winter is here in full force these days, and that means that the cold, dark, snowy days might be–well–feeling sad.. Did you know that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects 15% of Canadians?

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a kind of depression that appears only at certain times of the year. It begins in fall when the days get shorter and lasts through the winter. Did you know that 13–17% of people who develop this disorder, have an immediate family member with it?

Signs and symptoms come back and go away at the same times every year. Symptoms usually appear during the late fall or early winter months and subside during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Symptoms may begin mild but become more intense as the season progresses.

Symptoms include:

Depression and anxiety
Feeling of hopelessness
Lack of energy
Withdrawal from family, friends and social activities
Oversleeping
Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Appetite changes
Weight gain
Difficulty concentrating and processing information.
Some ways to help yourself if you are experiencing seasonal affective disorder are to find a trusted friend you can talk to or join a support group. Also, it might be a good time for you to join a volunteer group. You can make new friends and doing things for others is proven to help people feel better… And don’t forget to take your vitamin D!

Those dark days may be on their way, but just remember the bright, white snow that’s on its way as well!

For more information check out the Mayo Clinic’s write up on the disorder…  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

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