Treating the winter blues

The air is colder and the sun is setting at an earlier time. Winter is here. There is lots of holiday cheer, but for some people it's not so cheerful.

Posted: Dec. 6, 2017 5:39 PM
Updated: Dec. 6, 2017 7:10 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- The air is colder and the sun is setting at an earlier time. Winter is here. There is lots of holiday cheer, but for some people it's not so cheerful. 

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It's the winter blues. 

Jeri Taylor is a professor at Ivy Tech. For nearly 20 yearsm she has suffered with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

"It can be life changing," Taylor said. "I just felt depressed."

SAD is a type of depression that's related to changes in the season. 

Tom Johnson, a professor of psychology at Indiana State University, says its a disorder that develops over the last 30 years.

"It {SAD} has to happen exclusively in the winter," Johnson said. 

Johnson says for most people the symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months.

Taylor knows this feeling.

"I felt like I couldn't get up," Taylor said. 

She says she constantly felt low on energy.

"I've been stuck in the house for several days," Taylor said. 

Johnson says the reasons why people tend to struggle during the holidays are endless. Anything form the weather to losing a loved one can trigger someone to feel in the dumps. 

For Taylor, it's the gloomy weather that is the cause of her depression.

"I need light," Taylor said. "I need sunlight." 

She says in the warmer months she can tell a difference in her mood. 

"I am outside every second of the day," Taylor said. "I don't eat as much and I'm not sleepy."

Taylor can see a difference in her mood.

"I don't eat as much," Taylor said. "I'm not sleepy."

Johnson says the best way to treat the seasonal blues is to seek help. 

"See a physican, see a counselor, or see a therapist," Johnson said. 

He also wants to point out there is a difference between the seasonal blues and actual depression. He says this can be determined by the two week rule. If your symptosms last longer than two weeks, it may be something more serious.

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