Are You S.A.D.?

Seasonal Affective Disorder or “Winter Blues” is a form of depression that occurs in relation to the seasons, most commonly beginning in winter. So if you notice you are extra sluggish, anti-social, super hungry, down and moody and it happens to be January or so…don’t be too hard on yourself! That feeling to curl up and hibernate with the bears is shared with half a million people in this country; many of whom do not realize they are suffering from the effects of their hormonal cycles changing with the darkening of days…and not for the better!

Melanin, thyroid and growth hormones are less productive with less light…these are the “get up and go” hormones shared by men and women alike. The fluctuation in hormones doesn’t typically affect basic functioning… you can still make it to work and get through your day. This is how it is different then dystemic disorder or a full-blown depression. However, it can affect your relationships and social life enough to have an impact, in other words…you don’t wanna!

You don’t want to go the extra mile; do that extra project for work, take the kids on that special excursion, treat your partner to a night on the town…your sex drive may diminish and any issues that may have been manageable 3 months ago seem a bit overwhelming now. Basically, sleep and your bed seem to be the most appealing.

So, what to do about the kind of disorder you can anticipate happening yearly? There are several things that work. Make sure you DO get yourself to the gym. At the very least bundle up and take a few walks. Exercise gets the brain chemistry (endorphins and the like) stimulated and helps to make up for the disruption of hormones. You can also purchase full spectrum lamps and bulbs that mimic the outdoor light that your body is missing.

But perhaps most importantly, make sure any issues that have been swirling around, the issues that might make you down on a good day, are handled. Although you may be able to put them on hold for most of the year, when winter comes and SAD strikes, those issues come to the forefront. And although they may be difficult to confront, not doing so may find you too sad for too long. One of the complications of SAD is that it can sometimes progress to a major depression syndrome. However, if you confront and clear up those issues now, it is more likely that in winters to come, you will have enough awareness to make the short days and long nights cozier and happier.

So, take heart, spring will come. You aren’t crazy or lazy…you may be experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Hope this is helpful and, as always, I am here to help.

Jody Miller M.F.T.

For Lights:

Jody Miller M.F.T.

For Lights:


  1. For after the holiday season blues!!!!!

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