Cold Weather Means the Return of Seasonal Affective Disorder Cold Weather Means the Return of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Anchor: As Winter looms on the horizon, so do the “winter blues.” N-C-C News’ Grace Anthony on how the colder and darker days take a toll on some of the people here in Central New York.

Reporter: The days of sunshine are now few and far between. For Syracuse resident Charlotte Wall getting out of bed on the colder and darker winter mornings is a struggle.

Charlotte Wall: “The sun isn’t shining like there’s no drive to like get up and I feel like that’s a big thing like when the sun isn’t out it makes like everything a lot harder.”

Reporter: Charlotte along with five percent of adults in the country suffers from seasonal affective disorder or SAD. The lack of daylight during the winter months is a direct cause of SAD. Psychiatrist Dr. Rachel Deyong says the symptoms of SAD are similar to those of depression.

Dr. Deyong: “Like change in a pattern of sleep, a pattern of eating or appetite, a depressed mood, so for example losing interest in activities.”

Reporter:Charlotte says she has tried to find solutions.

Charlotte Wall: “a sunset lamp just to like try to like bring up the mood and I know a lot of people use those just because like they’re said to like help you feel a little bit better.”

Reporter: In addition to light therapy, Dr. Deyong recommends cognitive behavioral therapy to help find coping mechanisms for anyone suffering from seasonal affective disorder.

Grace Anthony, N-C-C News.

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) The winter season can be a very joyous time, but for some,  the colder and darker months bring about seasonal affective disorder or SAD.  The lack or decrease in sunlight during this season is a direct cause of SAD. 

For Syracuse resident Charlotte Wall there is a lack of motivation to get up in the morning if the sun is not shining. She is not alone in this feeling. According to the American Psychiatric Association, about 5% of adults in the U.S. suffer from seasonal affective disorder during fall and winter.  SAD may last for almost half the year.  

New York State psychiatrist Dr. Rachel Deyong says the symptoms of SAD are similar to those of depression. This includes a change in sleep or eating patterns, a depressed mood, or loss of interest in normal activities.  

Deyong recommends photo or light therapy to help compensate for the lack of daylight during these months. In addition,  she noted that cognitive behavioral therapy could also be help patients find coping mechanisms for seasonal affective disorder. 


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