SAD: More Than the Winter Blues

We all get a little down at times during the winter months. Who can blame us? It’s cold. It’s dark by 5 p.m. It’s too icy to walk or run outside so we bury ourselves in quilts and watch TV or lose ourselves in a good book instead. Yet, we cope. We get out of bed, go to work and engage with our friends and family. We make it to the gym now and then. We’ve simply got a case of the wintertime blues that waxes and wanes but doesn’t really keep us down.

Not true for folks experiencing seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

What is SAD?

“SAD is a reoccurring major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern. It’s not just getting the blues when the sun goes in for a few days,” said Craig McFadden, a licensed behavioral health specialist with UCHealth’s Mountain Crest Behavioral Health Center in Fort Collins.

SAD is more common in women, younger adults and in those living far from the equator. And get this — it isn’t exclusive to winter.

“SAD usually occurs in winter, but not always. It can set in with the coming of any season,” he said.


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