'Tis the season. Many people go through a definite mood change when the days get shorter. Did you know that there's a name for it? And treatments? Seasonal Affective Disorder, known as SAD, is most common this time of year when it gets dark earlier. While you can't change the weather, you can do some things to help protect yourself from the SAD blues.

According to the Mayo Clinic, symptoms of SAD include:

  • depression
  • hopelessness
  • anxiety
  • loss of energy
  • a heavy "leaden" feeling in arms and legs
  • social withdrawal
  • oversleeping
  • weight gain
  • difficulty concentrating
  • a loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Your appetite can change, especially cravings for foods high in carbohydrates.

 

Feeling down occasionally is normal. But if it's interfering with your normal life, then maybe it's time to get some help. Talk to your doctor and see what solutions are available. You might just need to sit in front of a sunlight lamp for a period of time each day. Maybe you need to increase the amount of Vitamin D. Or maybe prescription meds are in order. Only your doctor can tell you what will help.

Maine is such a beautiful place in the winter! Don't let SAD force you to miss it! To read more about Seasonal Affective Disorder, check out the Mayo Clinic's website.