VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The Holidays are a time to celebrate and be with family, so what is there to be sad about? For those with SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, with the shortest day of the year tomorrow, Christmas time can bring their spirits down instead of raising them up. Doctor Tracy Sullivan, says symptoms of SAD include over eating, over sleeping and the unwillingness to go anywhere or do anything.
So what causes us to feel down when we should be celebrating the holiday season? Doctor Sullivan says SAD is related to a shift in the season, with the brains chemistry actually changing around August 21st. She adds that some people will start to get down in November, while others experience symptoms in February or March before the days get longer and their spirits perk up.
If you want to beat the winter blues, Sullivan outlines several options such as going on anti-depressants, upping the dose if you are already taking them, exercise or using an SAD lamp for 20 to 30 minutes a day; she points out that each patients needs are different. If you think you experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, Doctor Sullivan says its important to see your family doctor for diagnosis and treatment.