According to Hippocrates,“It is chiefly the changes of the season which produces diseases.” Many people in Wisconsin know that only too well, finding that seasonal changes and light deprivation lead to decreased energy and a low mood. Daylight is already diminished, and with the end of Daylight Savings Time approaching, the effects will be felt even more.
- Decreased energy often results from this seasonal change and magnifies as we head through the darker season. This can impair functioning, with symptoms including chronic tardiness, diminished focus and thinking, and difficulty completing tasks.
- Mood effects range in severity from mild winter blues to full-blown Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), in which symptoms of clinical depression might be present. These include sadness, feeling worthless, guilt, negative thoughts, and suicidal ideation.
- Physical functions are often disturbed as well. One might experience an increased need for sleep, difficulty waking, or Couch Potato Syndrome.
An upcoming post will give some good tips for dealing with the Winter Blues. Meanwhile, our therapists offer counseling or a Winter Blues presentation for your organization. For a good handbook, here is the original resource by Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal: