LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – As the weather gets colder and the sun sets sooner, more and more people are struggling with seasonal depression.
It’s also known as seasonal affective disorder, or for short, S.A.D.
Experts say it’s important to notice the warning signs before it’s too late.
Psychology Today reports that 10 million people in America struggle with seasonal depression and another 10 to 20 percent have a mild version of the disorder.
Health officials say the best way to fight back against this is to talk about it and seek help if you need it.
“We see a lot of people in the United States affected by depression and getting help to get through that can be critical,” said Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail.
While many people are struggling with the “winter blues,” Vail says it’s important to take action.
“Signs of depression can be, you know, not wanting to do the things that you typically want to do, not getting enjoyment out of the things that you typically get enjoyment out of, change of appetite, some people will lose appetite, some people over eat,” said Vail.
Vail says other warning signs can include anxiety, losing concentration easily, and memory loss.
So, how do we fight back?
“Exercise, eating right, sleeping enough, sources of light,” said Vail.
Of course, if none of those things seem to be working, seek professional help.
“Sometimes people get a sense of loss of hopelessness and when we get a sense of loss of hopelessness or no hope in life, then that tends to catapult into some pretty you know, bad places,” said Vail. “You just want to make sure if you’re really kind of struggling to lift yourself back out, to find the things that are helpful to you, that there’s always help, as well.”
If you or someone you know is battling seasonal affective disorder, click here.