Parenting Connection: How to spot and fix seasonal affective disorder

Parenting Connection


It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: How to spot and remedy Seasonal Affective Disorder

Now that frigid winter temperatures and conditions seem to have finally shown up across Michigan, local medical experts say if you’ve seen your kids display short tempers, bad moods, or low energy — then they may be suffering from what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD.

Doctors say SAD is a specific form of a major depressive disorder that comes and goes according to changes in seasons. It mostly happens during the winter — and we’re here for you now with how to spot it, and then hopefully fix it.

Pediatricians with the Child Mind Institute say, watch out for these signs that may indicate your child may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder:

*Feeling sad or irritable, even when there’s no obvious reason
*Losing interest in things that used to be enjoyable
*Low energy levels
*Being very self-critical
*Feeling hopeless, worthless or numb

Aside for sunny and warmer weather to return — experts recommend these tips to limit Seasonal Affective Disorder:

*Stick to routines. Having a consistent schedule for sleep, meals, work and family activities provides stability in uncertain times and will keep spirits up
*Prioritize healthy habits
*Ask your kids for their own ideas for activities that they’d be excited to do on a regular basis
*Make it a team effort so it’s easier to stay on track

Experts with the Child Mind Institute say, it’s also important to remember that you can always consult a professional, even if you’re not certain there’s a problem — because it’s better to ask whether something is normal, rather than waiting until it’s clear that it’s a problem.

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