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What to Do About: The Winter Blues

January 18, 2011

The holidays are officially over. For many of us, the post-holiday blues have set in. Visiting family and friends have returned home, bare Christmas trees lay on the sidewalk waiting to be trashed, New Years celebrations are over, and it’s time to get back to work or school. But what does it mean if feelings of depression last after the decorations are taken down?

“Seasonal affective disorder is four to five times more common in women than in men.” (CBS News)

If you’re feeling sad, sluggish, and withdrawn from activities and friends, you may be suffering from a more serious form of the winter blues called Seasonal Affective Disorder. Up to 15% of the population suffers from a form of this disorder. We all know shorter days means less sunlight. But for some, this can wreak havoc on your internal clock (also know as your “circadian rhythm”). The cold, snowy weather we’ve been getting here in D.C. may make you want to stay indoors and hibernate for the winter. But getting outside during the day and seeing the sunlight can be a huge help. Making sure you’re getting regular exercise and proper nutrition can also stave off the sluggish, withdrawn feelings that may come during the winter.

But what to do if feelings of depression still linger through January? Last holiday season on Calvary Comments, we brought you four easy answers about depression. If you have been experiencing a feeling of hopelessness, decreased energy, and changes in appetite or sleep, then you may be suffering from a more severe form of clinical depression. And women are particularly susceptible to the disorder – women are almost twice as likely to suffer from depression.

If you, or someone you know, seem to be suffering from the symptoms of depression, there’s some good news – it’s nothing to be ashamed of, and with the right help it’s very treatable. Don’t go undiagnosed. Talking to your doctor can help put you on the path to managing depression.

Here are some more helpful resources to consult if you want to read on:

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