From Wyoming News Service

Seasonal Affective Disorder

The dead of winter in Wyoming inspires some to pack their bags for Arizona or Florida, to escape the short days and cold temperatures.  Lack of sunlight during the winter months can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder, called SAD,  with those living in northern states most likely to feel its effects.

Clinician Jesse Bell is an expert in identifying and treating SAD, which can range from mild to debilitating.  The the symptoms, he says,  include;  " Lack of interest in activities that typically motivate them or cause enjoyment.  Lack of interest in social activities.  In general, lack of motivation."

Other symptoms to watch for include oversleeping, irritability, weight gain and/or a craving for starchy foods.  Bell adds that SAD can go hand-in-hand with other types of depression.   "Someone who may not be depressed at all may experience the depressive symptoms in some form during those winter months."

Bell says it's estimated that 10-million Americans experience SAD.  A general physician can help screen for symptoms. Treatments include light therapy, talk and group therapy, and medications.

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