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Some may experience seasonal affective disorder this winter

If you are suffering from the winter blues, do not brush it off thinking it’s just a “funk.”

Have a conversation with your doctor about seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a depression when the seasons change.

People who suffer from SAD in the winter season will begin experiencing symptoms in the fall, including irritability, lack of energy, weight gain and problems interacting with others.

“Watch what you eat, watch your alcohol intake, pay attention to light cycles and get some sun and exercise.” said Dr. Stephen Sharp, Dean of the College of Social Sciences at the University of Phoenix

Seasonal affective disorder can also lead to “summer blues.” SAD symptoms can show up in the spring and include depression, insomnia, weight loss, agitation or anxiety.

There are effective treatments for SAD, such as buying a “light box.” These vary in shape and size and mimic outdoor light that researchers believe causes a chemical change in the brain that lifts moods and eases other SAD symptoms.