It’s that time of the year again. The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting colder. In Indiana, we have seen a few snow flurries, and I am dreading the graying of the sky for the winter. In response, we tend to sleep more, crave carbohydrates, and experience less energy. Although not an official DSM-IV TR diagnosis, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD, or seasonal depression) has been popularly accepted by lay persons, practitioners, and researchers alike.
Our natural response to the seasonal changes only becomes a disorder when the distress is in excess of what would be expected from the stressor (seasonal change) and/or when it interferes with functioning in more than one key life area. If you are late to work every day and fighting more with your significant other, your response may be severe enough to be considered a disorder. Regardless of the extent to which the seasonal change effects you, there are several things you can do to fight the winter blues. (more…)