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What is Winter Depression?

Winter Depression, or more clinically, Seasonal Affective Disorder (and the tongue-in-cheek acronym therefor: SAD) is a real mood disorder condition that causes characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year... Some suffer from SAD in Spring, Summer, or Fall, but Winter is by far the most common.

Gloomy Day

With more than 3 million cases diagnosed in the US each year, it is common enough to share some information for our readers.

It is a condition that can be self diagnosed, and can be treated on one's own, or medically.

The most common symptom is the obvious depression, but it is also characterized by social withdrawal and a sense of hopelessness.

So what can you do?

Get active... exercise releases endorphins which can elevate mood and give you even more energy.

Chatter... While "Talk Therapy" is prescribed by medical professionals to treat  Seasonal Affective Disorder, you don't need group sessions for this - pick up the phone and call a friend or family member you haven't talked to in a long time, meet someone for coffee... or combine with the exercise suggestion above and go for a walk with a friend or neighbor and chat. If it's stormy outside, go take a trip to an indoor mall with a pal and do some window shopping.

Worship Sol... While conventional medical advice is to stay out of the sun for your skin, the sun has healing properties as well... if you see a spot of sunshine, slap on some sunscreen and go stand in it - close your eyes and face that happy glow! You can always go for "phototherapy", but positioning yourself to enjoy any natural light available, surrounding yourself with bright colors and in well-lit rooms works wonders.

There are medications available and supplements you can take (Vitamin D being the main one here) but so many other choices - getting proactive about it helps in of itself. Get busy, get involved, shake it off.. brighten your surroundings, try out some aromatherapy or fun citrus body wash.. make your own sunny happy day!

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