If you're feeling under the weather and just not yourself these days, you may have a real problem.
CNN reports more than 5% of Americans suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D.
With dreary winter weather, shorter days, and more darkness during the waking hours, more people fall subject to seasonal depression or what people commonly refer to as the winter blues.
Dr. Bartlett at the Hannibal Clinic says the lack of warm sunshine and leisurely summer activities causes people to get depressed, "It's colder. People can't get outside and exercise and can't work in their gardens and genetically it becomes more of an issue where they don't have those other factors that improve their mood and just give them more energy."
Dr. Bartlett says if you're depressed try spending time in the sun, even in the snow.
Spending time with family, getting outdoors and exercising are all things that can help balance the levels of melatonin in your brain, something that will make you happy again.
Dr. Bartlett says a lightbox has also been proven to help. But, if you're having thoughts of suicide you should see a doctor.
He says seasonal depression can start setting in around November, when the days get shorter.
It get's worse around this time of year, right after the holidays, but usually goes away around March or April.
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