Fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder during fall and winter months

Local News

LUBBOCK Texas- As time and season change takes effect across the United States, medical experts caution about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Kelly Bennette, M.D. with Texas Tech Physicians, said SAD is a form of depression that typically rears its head around fall and winter months.

“It’s exactly a mind depression,” said Bennette. “Just feeling the blues or the blahs, not having energy, not wanting to go out and do much and just kind of wanting to eat unhealthy food and sit at home watching TV.”

Bennette said SAD is a gradual thing that starts to build up over time. She said lack of sunlight is the main accelerant of the disorder.

“When it’s bright and sunny, the signal goes to our brain [and says] ‘I need to be awake and productive,'” said Bennette.” When it’s dark, there is no signal going to the brain and that’s when melatonin is produced and makes you [yawn].”

Bennette said light therapy devices can be purchased online to help combat SAD but the best way to help defeat the blues is to get out and engage in activity.

“You still need to do stuff with people, church things, club things,” said Bennette. “It’s been a lot harder because of the pandemic but again we all can wear masks, we have vaccinations and that human interaction is incredibly helpful with helping with the side effects of SAD.”

Bennette said those who find themselves not improving should contact their primary care physician.

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