From holiday decorations, to shopping and spending time with family and friends, this is often called one of the most wonderful times of the year. But for some the changing season also brings about a common form of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.
Jucinta Rome, LCSW, Erlanger says, "It actually affects about 10-20 percent of people and more common in women, but men have more severe symptoms than women do."
Jucinta Rome is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Erlanger Medical Center.
For most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months when there are fewer hours of sunlight, zapping your energy and making your feel moody.
Jucinta Rome says, "As we talk about the change in time and how we have a lot more shorter days this time of the year, we are less active in the winter. Most people are inside more; you're not willing to get out and do things."
So is it winter blues or SAD? Here are some signs and symptoms you should look for: lack of energy, poor sleep, weight gain or loss, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide.
Rome says, "It's the persistence of the symptoms. It's like people say, 'I can't shake it.'"
Jucinta went on to say, try exercising, changing your diet, or even light therapy.
Rome says, "That's actually where you can buy a lamp or a box that is specific for SAD."
If none of those treatment options work, Jucinta says you should see your doctor.