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Do the winter months get you down more than you think they should? If so, you might have seasonal depression, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Seasonal depression is a mood disorder that happens every year at the same time. A rare form of seasonal depression, known as “summer depression,” begins in late spring or early summer and ends in fall. In general, though, seasonal affective disorder starts in fall or winter and ends in spring or early summer.

SAD may affect 11 million people in the U.S. each year, and 25 million more may have a milder form called the winter blues.

Symptoms may include:

  • Feeling sad, cranky, or hopeless
  • Less energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Fatigue
  • Greater appetite
  • More desire to be alone
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Weight gain

14 Ways to Ease Seasonal Depression

  1. Talk with your doctor
  2. Preparing your mind for Winter early
  3. Light therapy
  4. Talk with a friend
  5. Consider medications
  6. Prioritize social activities 
  7. Aromatherapy
  8. Stick to a schedule
  9. Get regular exercise
  10. Let the sunshine in
  11. Take a vacation
  12. Avoiding alcohol
  13. Keep a journal
  14. Get vitamin D
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