As daylight saving comes to an end, seasonal affective disorder intensifies
WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - Counselors at Behavioral Health Clinic in Wausau noticed that seasonal affective disorder is setting in sooner than usual this year for many.
With darker and colder days people with Seasonal Affective Disorder or S.A.D for short are feeling fatigued, depressed, and withdrawn socially. With the time change, the lack of daylight confuses your body.
“What’s happening is it’s really messing with our circadian rhythms and so our sleep-wake cycle really changes and it’s an adjustment period to that,” said Luke Severt, Professional Licensed Counselor.
This type of depression is normal and has a large impact on those in Central Wisconsin. States with less sunlight at certain times of the year are more affected than people in states that have more consistent sunlight. But, there is another factor making things worse for many people this year.
“If we’re working from home that seasonal affective disorder can set in even harder or more quickly like we are seeing right now. Because people aren’t getting out and about and experiencing those changes that they really need,” said Severt.
Some ways to cope include getting out of the house and socializing with friends. Exercising and using light therapy are other options. Here are some tips on how to choose a light box if you decide to try it. Severt said 10 to 20 minutes a day works well for many people.
If that doesn’t work Severt said to try counseling.
“If your daily life is affected by your mood and you’re not able to do the things that you once did, you should really come in and talk about it,” said Severt.
But first, he advises switching up your routine with healthy habits.
“Daylight savings you can make changes, it’s a time for routine change because of that time change. So view it as an opportunity to make changes in your daily routine,” said Severt.
For more information about S.A.D. click here.
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