Avera Medical Minute: How to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:02 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - When the days are shorter in the winter months, it can trigger depression in some people.

“Seasonal Affective Disorder is actually a type of depression that occurs with the change of the seasons. For most people, you’ll notice it begins in the Fall and then it ends toward the end of wintertime, which typically here can be April,” said Kathia Dirksen, Avera Behavior Health Counselor. “Some might consider it the winter blues, but season affective disorder is actually a more severe form of that depression.”

Dirksen said that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can have similar symptoms to major depression, such as low energy, fatigue, low motivation, inability to concentrate, and change in appetite and sleep patterns.

Tips on battling SAD

To combat SAD, get outside and soak up sunlight, balance your diet, and exercise about 30 minutes three times a week. You can also use a lightbox which is an indirect way of receiving the same amount of sunlight.

If you are feeling down and things are not getting better, visit Avera.Org/MedicalMinute to seek help.