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Winter blues may need attention

From Christy Morris, Hosparus of Green River

Some of us notice seasonal affective disorder (SAD) as our spirits begin to feel low when the days are shorter in the winter (also called "winter blues").

SAD is not considered a separate disorder but is a type of depression, characterized by its recurrent seasonal pattern, with symptoms lasting about four to five months per year beginning to feel better in the spring.

The signs and symptoms of SAD include:

Symptoms of major depression may include:

Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day

Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed

Experiencing changes in appetite or weight

Having problems with sleep

Feeling sluggish or agitated

Having low energy

Feeling hopeless or worthless

Having difficulty concentrating

Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

For winter-pattern SAD, additional specific symptoms may include:

Oversleeping (hypersomnia)

Overeating, particularly with a craving for carbohydrates

Weight gain

Social withdrawal (feeling like "hibernating")

Specific symptoms for summer-pattern SAD may include:

Trouble sleeping (insomnia)

Poor appetite, leading to weight loss

Restlessness and agitation


Episodes of violent behavior

If you or someone you know is in immediate distress or is thinking about hurting themselves, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline toll-free at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the toll-free TTY number at 1-800-799-4TTY (4889). You also can text the Crisis Text Line (HELLO to 741741) or go to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline website at

This story was posted on 2023-02-17 08:42:03
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