During the winter it can be easy to get so busy with work and your kids' activities that by the time you go to bed you've barely seen the sun. The lack of exposure to the sun, shorter days and colder weather can cause some people to feel the winter blues, known medically as seasonal affective disorder.
If you think you suffer from a major attitude change during the winter months, use these tips from USA.gov to learn the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder and possible treatment options.
Recognize the symptoms:
Some of the most common symptoms of seasonal affective disorder are feelings of sadness or emptiness, hopelessness or extreme pessimism. Fatigue, difficulty concentrating and changes in weight could also be possible signs of the winter blues.
When It's Not Just a Bad Day:
Everyone has bad days from time to time and may feel sad and depressed or even extremely pessimistic. It's normal for these feelings to come and go. However, if your mood doesn't change over a period of two weeks, it's time to talk to your doctor to see if you're suffering from depression or seasonal affective disorder. You can use the Mood Tracker mobile app to help you track when and how long you've been feeling depressed.
There are several different treatment options for seasonal affective disorder. Your doctor may want you to try light therapy. Being exposed to sunlight or a fluorescent light box for an extended period of time could help to improve your mood. However, for many people, light therapy isn't enough.
In that case there are many different medicines you and your doctor could discuss. Before your appointment read the guide Depressions – Medicines to Help You to learn about all your different options and possible side effects so you can make an informed decision.
Don't let the winter blues keep you down. Use this information to help you take the steps you need to begin to feel better.
General Services Administration