'Tis the season to be depressed

The winter blues, or cabin fever, can become more than just a sour mood over being stuck inside and the lack of sun.
Dec 22, 2012

Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen says seasonal affective disorder is real and can lead to serious issues.

"I miss those long, warm, sunny days of summer, and I'm not alone in these sentiments," he wrote in his blog for the Smart Living Network. "Many people experience a decline in their mood in the late fall and winter months, which are short on sunlight. For some, this creates significant disorder in their lives."

VanWingen said his blog brings the disorder to light (pun intended to lighten things up, another pun) and offers some helpful ideas in combating the problem.

He estimates that up to 5 percent of the U.S. population experiences the disorder in a given year. S.A.D. is most common in early to middle adulthood, declining among older persons, and higher among women.

"Obviously, geography plays in huge here with northern latitudes being at greater risk," VanWingen wrote.

Yes, we know West Michigan gets less sunlight during the winter than just about anywhere. So, the disorder may be more prevalent here than, say, Florida.

To read more of VanWingen's blog about S.A.D., its causes and possible help, click here.

Comments

zwesterhouse

S.A.D can be helped. But employers will not accommodate. If you take sick days - your fired/strategically replaced . Property taxes are sky high - and so is school administrator pay, but not the middle classes. "At Will" and "right to work for less" Unfunded mandates on taxpayers like car insurance. High co-pays on health insurance. 401 K plans replaced pensions which suck for the worker but benefit the CEO's. Contempt for the elderly at every shopping experience. Temp services abound. On Forbes best/worst jobs list from 1 to 200 most jobs posted in Grand Haven are on the bottom 150 to 200 range. S.A.D is just caused by living in our sucky society and its values along with its mandated overtime exacerbated by low wages and doubled by no time with family or activities. Its a wonder we don't see a rash of suicides.

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