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DREAD THE DARK DAYS OF WINTER?
Seasons can have a profound impact on mood. Consider how you feel during the summer months when the sun is shining in the morning and after you leave work. Now consider driving to work on a cold, dark winter morning. If you don't get out of the office during the day, you may not be exposed to any sunlight. If you're vulnerable to the winter blues, you may experience a shift in mood that affects your ability to thrive.
According to the U.S. National Mental Health Association (2002), up to 25 per cent of North Americans experience some form of winter blues, and at least twice as many women as men develop this condition. Most experience such feelings between the ages of 20 and 40, but even young children may suffer. Approximately 5 per cent of North Americans experience a severe form of winter blues called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is medically recognized as a sub-type of major depression.
DO YOU HAVE THE WINTER BLUES?
If you get the winter blues, in the fall and winter you may experience:
These problems will disappear in the spring and you will feel like your ‘old self’ again until the next fall. Some people find these complaints abate quickly once the days become longer, while others find they gradually dissipate. This pattern typically continues year after year.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO FEEL BETTER?
Most people who suffer from the winter blues respond well to the regulated bright light therapy.