Home
It's where Ada gets its news!
February 27, 2020
 

You are here

It's more than just the winter blues

This is a specifier for major depression disorders, and the farther a person lives from the equator, the more likely is the occurrence of SAD

The gray hues of winter can cause people to suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which is more than just a case of the winter blues.

“This is a very real condition, and the seriousness to sufferers is undeniable,” said Hannah Stokes, assistant professor of psychology at Ohio Northern University.

“This is a specifier for major depression disorders, and the farther a person lives from the equator, the more likely is the occurrence of SAD.”

“It is complex how the body works. Serotonin is one neurotransmitter in a complicated system that regulates sleep cycles, mood, appetite, and pain. When it is sunny out, the body regulates itself naturally, but these functions can become dysfunctional during the gray days of winter. This is what causes individuals to experience SAD.”

There are several remedies for SAD, Stokes explained, ranging from light therapy to prescribed anti-depressant medications, depending on the severity of the condition.

One possible avenue is cognitive behavior therapy. “This often focuses on changes in behavior, such as forcing yourself to go outside for 15 to 20 minutes a day when there is sunlight and creating a structure where you are interacting with others.

"However, in wintertime, this can be a challenge. Because it is cold outside, we are less likely to leave our houses and, therefore, many individuals feel even more isolated.”