Feeling sad around the holidays can be more than the Christmas blues

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The holiday season brings joy and happiness to a lot of people but around this time some start to feel a bit sad.

The acronym SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder which is a form of depression and can be brought on by shorter days of sun light like we see in the winter.

Seasonal Affective Disorder differs from what people call the Christmas Blues. Both typically occur around the same time, but financial hardships, and losing a loved one during the holidays can bring on the Christmas Blues.

With SAD, your serotonin levels are lowered due to lack of sun.

“You don’t get Vitamin D without the sun, and that can cause depression along with a lot of other things so you just gotta try to get out,” said Denise Hannon of Chicopee.

Dr. Lew Cohen is a psychiatrist at Baystate Medical Center and he told 22News that clinical depression and SAD have similar characteristics.

“We’ll see irritability, sadness, quickness to tears, maybe loss of the ability to sleep,” said Cohen. “All those things seem to be linked to this time of year for some people. There are treatments for this and the first step is for most of these things to recognize whats going on.”

Treatments for SAD can include: light therapy, cognitive behavior therapy and pharmacotherapy.

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