What to do with “WINTER BLUES”?

09-11-2022 04:56 PM

Ammon News -

By Rahaf Noghai - As the days get shorter, many people find themselves feeling sad. You might feel blue around the winter holidays, or get into a slump after the fun and festivities have ended. Some people have more serious mood changes year after year, lasting throughout the fall and winter when there’s less natural sunlight. What is it about the darkening days that can leave us down in the dumps? And what can we do about it?

Nowadays especially with the permanent daylight-saving time, you got few sleep hours, you wake up with no vigorously, it affects your ability in communication with others in home, street, school, university and even work, so what can we do about it?

On one hand, NIH-funded researchers have been studying the “winter blues” and a more severe type of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, for more than 3 decades. They’ve learned about possible causes and found treatments that seem to help most people. Still, much remains unknown about these winter-related shifts in mood.

“Winter blues is a general term, not a medical diagnosis. It’s fairly common, and it’s more mild than serious. It usually clears up on its own in a fairly short amount of time,” says Dr. Matthew Rudorfer, a mental health expert at NIH. The so-called winter blues are often linked to something specific, such as stressful holidays or reminders of absent loved ones.

On the other hand, we hear about (SAD), but without information about it, so what is it?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. These symptoms often resolve during the spring and summer months. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer and resolves during the fall or winter months.

What about the symptoms?

Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.
Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
Having low energy and feeling sluggish
Having problems with sleeping too much
Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain
Having difficulty concentrating
Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
Having thoughts of not wanting to live

“Some people say that SAD can look like a kind of hibernation,” says Rudorfer. “People with SAD tend to be withdrawn, have low energy, oversleep and put on weight. They might crave carbohydrates,” such as cakes, candies and cookies. Without treatment, these symptoms generally last until the days start getting longer.

Shorter days, reduced sunlight in fall and winter, quiet streets and cold weather are seemed to be a main trigger for SAD.

“All of us, children and adults, need morning sun and evening darkness to get enough sleep and to be healthy and happy. Morning sun tells every cell and organ in the body to start its daily work; in our repertoire of daily habits, morning sun is the slam dunk”, said by Heather Turgeon and Julie Wright the authors of “Generation Sleepless: Why Tweens and Teens Aren’t Sleeping Enough and How We Can Help Them.”

This quote shows that the morning sun has a great effect on improving people's mood and serving them as a motivation to spend a beautiful day, that's why the lack of sunrise clearly on winter days makes us feel frustrated and a little depressed.

How to beat the winter blues?

It's thought the winter blues, or seasonal affective disorder (SAD), affects around 2 million people in the world. It can affect people of any age, including children.
According to Sue Pavlovich of the Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA), these 10 tips could help. "Everyone's affected differently by SAD, so what works for one person won't for another," she says. "But there's usually something that will help, so don't give up if the first remedy you try doesn't work. Just keep trying."

1. Keep active
2. Get outside
3. Keep warm
4. Eat healthily
5. See the light
6. Take up a new hobby
7. See your friends and family
8. Talk it through
9. Join a support group
10. Seek help

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