A brutal winter increases the risk of seasonal depression, otherwise known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It is important to recognize the symptoms of SAD to prevent the disorder from developing into a more serious depression. SAD is a type of depression that develops in many people when the weather outside is cold and gray for a prolonged period of time. SAD may begin during adolescence or in adulthood. SAD is more common in women. Symptoms are similar to other forms of depression.
- Increased appetite with weight gain (weight loss is more common with other forms of depression)
- Increased sleep (too little sleep is more common with other forms of depression)
- Less energy and ability to concentrate
- Loss of interest in work or other activities
- Sluggish movements
- Social withdrawal
- Unhappiness and irritability
Often times people feel a decline in energy and motivation without even realizing that they are suffering from SAD. If you are experiencing the symptoms above, talk to your physician right away.
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This post was written by Kristin Barton Cuthriell, MEd., MSW, LCSW, the author of The Snowball Effect: How to Build Positive Momentum in Your Life. Available Now! Amazon and Barnes and Noble.