CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s getting darker earlier, and that might have you feeling a little sad lately.
That’s Seasonal Affective Disorder, which can make some of us feel less like ourselves during the fall and winter months.
It’s okay if you’re a bit sad this time of year, and you’re definitely not alone. The National Institute of Mental Health says SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder is considered a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons.
It usually starts in the late fall and winter and is more common in people who live far north or south of the equator, like us here in western Massachusetts.
Jaime Perez of Chicopee told 22News, “There’s definitely a correlation between staying inside and the crumby winter months and being depressed rather than some of the nice, sunnier months in June.”
Symptoms of the winter pattern of Seasonal Affective Disorder include lacking energy, hypersomnia, weight gain and social withdrawal, or feeling like you want to hibernate.
Chicopee Resident Sky Hayes told 22News, “When it starts to get dark earlier people think their day is over sooner. A lot of people work really long days, long hours, they might even get up when it’s dark and now they’re leaving when it’s dark.”
SAD is also diagnosed four times more often in women than in men. Having a family history of other types of depression could make you more at risk of developing this disorder.
If you think you’re struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder, there are treatments and therapies that can help you.