Winter blues not just a myth

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. The sun is setting early, the days are darker and the chilly temperatures can make going outside a chore.

Sometimes wanting to stay bundled up inside can become more than just a temporary feeling and lead to other health problems.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real issue that starts during colder months and can intensify after the holidays when the tree comes down and the Christmas cheer is gone.

Experts say experiencing a drop in motivation, an increase in appetite and need for sleep are some signs of the mood disorder.

"Withdraw and that can make depression even worse whenever you isolate keep to yourself and don't seek help," Shelley Millsap, Counselor.

The holidays break up the cold months by having fun events to look forward to, but once the decorations go back in their boxes and the lights are dimmed the symptoms of this disorder can increase.

There are ways to pull yourself out of this winter funk. If your symptoms are mild you can treat yourself by going out in the sun a couple times a day, but if the clouds are rolling in light therapy using a simulated lamp can give you what you need.

"Expose yourself to the intensity of light for 15 minutes maybe a couple of times a day and that has found to be very helpful," Millsap.

Other ways to shake the blues are by staying active and social, but if you feel like your symptoms won't go away seek professional help.


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