Dealing with Winter Depression

Dealing with Winter Depression

Winter Depression

Winter depression is a type of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) that surfaces typically as the days grow shorter and colder.  Some people are very aware that each winter they get the “blues”, but, other people are not until they begin to track their mood.   SAD is NOT its own diagnosis rather it is a cyclical subcomponent of one of the three following mood disorders: Major depressive disorder or Bipolar I or II disorder.

Typical symptoms include: 

  • Social withdrawal
  • sleeping excessively
  • Eating excessively
  • Gaining weight
  • Low energy

Risk factors include:

  • Being female (FOUR times more likely!)
  • Living closer to the poles (IE Alaska or New England)
  • Having a family history of SAD
  • Being a young adult

Causes of Winter Depression

  • Difficulty regulating the neurotransmitter serotonin
  • Overproduction of melatonin
  • Low production of Vitamin D

What Can you do to prevent it?

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