The cool crisp air, the morning frost, and the early afternoon darkness does not elicit feelings of “nesting” for everyone. In fact, it can be a time of year when the shorter days and lack of light can contribute to depression. Per a recent article in WebMD, winter depression is still a mystery to scientists who study it. Many things, including brain chemicals, ions in the air, and genetics seem to be involved. Researchers agree that people who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) are particularly sensitive to light, or the lack of it.
SAD usually starts in the teen years or early adulthood, and is more common in females than in males. Because of the shorter daylight, the body produces less serotonin, which can lead to feelings of depression. As one would expect, this disorder is seldom found in countries close to the equator, where there is plenty of sunshine year-round. Studies in the United States have shown Florida has the fewest number of SAD sufferers, while New Hampshire has the most. (Source: Dr. Cullen Schwemer)
Clinical depression affects 20% of the population at one time and can be a serious condition. If you’re feeling depressed, take a one minute test and/or call your EAP today.