Winter Blues

 

It’s the holiday season, and the trees and menorahs are up, the cookies are out and holiday parties line the pages of your planner. And, yet, you are having trouble getting out of bed and you are overcome by feelings of sadness. Does this strike a familiar chord?

Do not fret: What you are feeling could be more than a fleeting case of the “winter blues.” There is a real treatable condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD) that afflicts more than half a million people each year during winter months.

SAD is caused by a chemical imbalance due to the shortened days and the lack of sunlight. Symptoms include: sleep problems, lethargy, overeating, loss of libido, depression and mood swings. These symptoms are not to be confused with a bad bout of PMS because SAD is treated with light therapy (get that vitamin E you are missing!) where sufferers spend a few hours a day doing a stationary activity in front of a specific lamp (other treatments include counseling or anti-depressants).

So if you feel like you are missing out on the holiday spirit, make a call on your doctor and, soon, you can feel like your cheery self again.

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