There is something about the summertime that gives me a whole new perspective on life. I feel reinvigorated during these months and have more motivation to get things done. The longer days and warmer air elevate my mood, and I get excited about venturing outside and admiring the flowers and sunshine.
Unfortunately, summer can’t last forever. As all Wisconsinites know, winter will soon return. It is not that I do not like the colder months; I just notice myself feeling a little less energetic and enthusiastic than usual. You might say I get a case of the “winter blues.”
These “winter blues” are a mild type of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a form of depression associated with winter – but it usually begins in September or October.
It is estimated that one to two percent of the population suffers from SAD. It is most common among people living farther north (ding ding, Wisconsin!).
Do I have Seasonal Affective Disorder?
If, as summer turns to fall, you find yourself experiencing the following, you may have SAD.
- Hopelessness, sadness or tension
- Decreased interest in things you once enjoyed
- Depressed mood
- Unexplained aches and pains
- Changes in sleeping patterns
- Weight changes (usually weight gain)
- Difficulty concentrating
Mild symptoms usually start in September and October and worsen as the days get shorter and colder.
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, there are several steps you can take on your own to help you move through these months without feeling so weighed down. I’ll cover those steps in next Wednesday’s blog post.
*Information gathered from www.helpguide.org
Kayci Lorenz is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Training. She focuses on young adults dealing with a variety of mental wellness concerns, including anxiety and stress management. She sees clients at our Menasha location and at the UW-Fox Valley campus.