Have you ever heard of S.A.D.? Do you ever feel down sad in the winter months?  If you said “yes”, you are not alone. S.A.D. stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression. There are about 3 million people in the U.S. each year according to sources that deal with this disorder.

S.A.D. , as  mentioned above, is a seasonal depression that happens typically during the winter months or fall through the winter. This is simply because we don’t see the sun as much, the days are dark and cold and not much time is spent doing activities outdoor.

The symptoms of it include being tired, helpless, feeling like being alone and not being in social settings and truly feeling depressed. There is not a test that you can take to determine if you have it (such as a blood test) but most any medical professional can help diagnose and treat it!

The good news, or the silver lining, if you deal with S.A.D. is that not only  are you not alone, there are many things you can do to help combat feeling blue. From a medical standpoint, you can always talk to your doctor (or someone at our office) about a medication. There are many that can be prescribed depending on your severity. Additionally, you can participate in “talk therapy” or visit with a counselor or psychologist depending on how you are impacted. Sometimes talking through your feelings is all you need.  Lastly, you can use light therapy. Special lights can be purchased anywhere help mimic natural “sun” and can help brighten your mood.

Alternatively, there are some other things you can do to help combat S.A.D.

  • Meet a friend for coffee or lunch to catch up
  • Put on upbeat music while you are getting ready or lounging around your home
  • Put on some lights in your home if it’s a dark and dreary day outside
  • If it’s not too cold, and conditions aren’t too icy, bundle up and go for a walk. Even 10-15 minutes of being outside can help.
  • If it’s too cold, then head to an indoor mall to walk and take in some fresh sights and sounds.
  • Make sure you are eating a healthy diet of colorful fruits and vegetables, getting plenty of water and getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night
  • Journal your feelings!

As always, we are here to help you at Carlos and Parnell. If you feel that you are experiencing signs or symptoms of S.A.D., come in today to talk with us. We have a few more months before the winter is over and we want you to be able to enjoy them, despite the cold and dreary days.

At Carlos and Parnell, M.D., P.A. our professional and caring staff makes the difference with patient care. – See more at:

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