Health & Wellness Weight Management Smoking & Tobacco Quit Center #TeamInspira Life & Health Coaching Fitness Connection Healthy Living Ideas Tips for Improving Your Health in the New Year Smoking Cessation and Lung Cancer Screening Connecting Behavioral Health and Physical Health Preventive Steps to Avoid Snow-Related Injuries Trying to Conceive in the New Year What to Do if You Get the Stomach Flu Plan Ahead for a Safe Visit with Elderly Relatives The Difference Between a Heart Attack and Sudden Cardiac Arrest Start Your Heart-Healthy Diet Exercising During Pregnancy Small Diet Changes That Make A Big Impact Why Cancer Survivors Could Have Heart Trouble LSVT LOUD Helps Patients Raise their Voices Why Good Form Matters When Weightlifting Four Common Myths About Vaccines Got Spring Allergies? Start Treatment Now What is Cardiac Rehab? Tips for Beating Morning Sickness The Link Between Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetes Complications of Uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes Why Snoring Could Be Bad for Your Heart Managing the Symptoms of IBS Celebrate Men's Health Month with These Important Screenings Tips for Better Sleep Teaching ‘Normal’ Movement with LSVT BIG New Guidelines Impact Daily Aspirin Recommendations 5 Tips to Get Active Safely Should My Daughter (or Son) Get the HPV Vaccine? Five Ways to Keep Your Brain Young Simple Fixes to Avoid Summertime Injuries Reasons Some Men Avoid the Doctor Five Ways to Manage Prediabetes Keep Your Diet on Track this Summer It’s Shark Week! What’s Really Lurking Off the Shoreline Breast Health Screening: Know Your Options What You Need to Know About Mammograms Common Breastfeeding Issues and How to Solve Them Recognizing Stroke Symptoms in Your Loved Ones Who Does What in the World of Mental Health Practitioners Lower Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer Ladies: Incontinence Doesn’t Have to Be a Part of Aging Enjoy Halloween Safely With These Tips Healthy Recipes Nutrition Counseling Massage Therapy Medical Fitness Programs Rehabilatation and Physical Therapy Sleep Centers S.T.E.P.S. For Kids (preventing childhood obesity) Diabetes Education What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? In a given year, as much as six percent of the U.S. population experiences Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a type of Major Depressive Disorder that comes and goes with the seasons. For many with SAD, there is an increase in depressive symptoms beginning in the fall and lasting until the winter, however, some may experience an increase in symptoms during the spring to summer seasonal transition. Symptoms of a depressive episode include: loss of interest in activities, decreased energy, sleep disturbance, poor concentration, changes in appetite, and feeling down or depressed nearly every day over a two-week period. The cause of SAD remains unknown, but research has shown that the reduction in sunlight during the fall and winter can lower levels of serotonin (chemical that regulates mood) and melatonin (chemical that regulates mood and sleep). SAD is four times more common in women than in men and occurs more in younger adults than in older adults. If you have a family history of other types of depression or live far away from the equator, you are at an increased risk. People who live in countries with year-round sunshine do not experience SAD at the rates of those with intense changes in seasons. If you’ve been diagnosed with SAD, your doctor may recommend several treatment options. Some of these treatment options may include: light, therapy, talk therapy, medication, natural supplements and potential changes to your diet and exercise routine. Light therapy is essentially a way of replacing the sunshine you’re missing through exposure to bright, artificial light each day. Light boxes filter out ultraviolet rays and create cool-white fluorescent light that is about 20 times brighter than your typical indoor lighting. Treatment may be as little as 20 minutes to one hour of exposure to the light with the goal of triggering the chemicals in your brain that help regulate your mood. Overall, it is helpful for individuals who are diagnosed to try and get outside in the natural light as much as possible, even it’s a cloudy day. Achieving this in the winter months may mean waking up extra early to catch the morning sun. It’s normal to have some days during the cold-weather months when you’re feeling a bit cooped up or down from spending a lot of time indoors. If you feel down for days at a time or are experiencing feelings of hopelessness, talk to your doctor about diagnosis and treatment options before symptoms get worse. If you are interested in learning more about behavioral health services at Inspira, call 1-800-INSPIRA.