Combating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Published: Nov. 3, 2023 at 5:17 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - It’s the time of year where days are getting colder and shorter which leads to many people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, millions of American adults may suffer from sad...also known as seasonal affective disorder, but many may not know they have the condition.

SAD occurs more often in women than in men and tends to be more common in certain regions.

“It’s definitely more common in the northern hemisphere where the days are shorter, and we experience much more of those inter months,” says Chief Behavioral Health Officer at Northern Nevada HOPES, Kristen Davis-Coelho.

The Institute also cites the symptoms to watch out for, which include oversleeping, overeating, weight gain, and social withdrawal.

Sarah Hartzell, NAMI Northern Nevada Board President, says, that with winters like last year’s, we have a higher tendency to see seasonal affective disorder:

“Especially when you think of last year where we had way more snow than we are used to, it wasn’t the best for people especially after covid and then we have all this snow and we are snowed in and can’t and we can’t see our friends as much and we feel that pressure,” says Hartzell.

Davis-Coelho says there are ways to minimize symptoms on your own:

“A few things people can do on their own, would be to maintain the same sleep wake schedule they normally do during the non-winter months, spend a little time outdoors in daylight hours, and then increase the amount of time they have socially with people who support them.”

Hartzell also shares some methods to minimize symptoms:

“Have some uplifting things you can do in your home that you have easy access to. Sometimes it’s hard to get outside and do activities when the weather is detrimental.”