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Seasonal Affective Disorder: The facts and solutions

Posted at 4:41 PM, Feb 13, 2019

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Every year, many of us feel that extra heaviness that comes with the cold.
It's not just in your head, in some cases it’s a diagnosable condition known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Dr. Lisa Lowery, the Division Chief of Pediatric Specialties at Helen Devos Children's Hospital tells us, "It is a real thing ... We’ve had people come in and say you know, 'something's just not quite right, I’m feeling a little bit more sad than I have in the past'."

If that sounds like you, Lowery says she has some questions for you to think about.

"What is your sleep pattern? Make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. How are you getting any light? There has been proven benefits of those light lamps, or sun lamps," she said.

Those changes, and a support system can shine a bright light on the darkest days of winter.

"We also for some of our patients recommend therapy. If they’re not in counseling, or getting back into therapy, who can they talk to who is their support system," Lowery said.

The answer for each person is different, so if you’re feeling down try a few of those strategies.

Lowery also emphasized being aware of how you’re feeling is huge with seasonal affective disorder, and if you’re feeling especially down make an appointment to see a doctor.