It is known as the winter blues, seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder but all the symptoms are the same. Up to five-percent of Americans report poor energy, fatigue, decreased attention and concentration, irritability and sadness during the winter months. Clinical Psychologist, Dr. Kelly Fairbanks at the Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha says the holidays are not the reason if you have a case of the grumps.
Dr. Fairbanks says Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is caused by lack of daylight hours and lack of exposure to sunshine. Symptoms of SAD include poor energy, fatigue, decreased attention and concentration, irritability and sadness. She says there are several things that help beat the winter blues with number one being exercise followed by social activity and diet.
Those who experience anxiety or depression are more likely to feel the effects of SAD. Light therapy is helpful for some as well as vitamin supplements. Some need counseling to help them get through the winter season.