NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Is your energy feeling low, you’re experiencing a poor mood and are excessively sleepy during the day? You may have seasonal affective disorder, known as SAD, which hits in the late fall and early winter.
The “winter blues” are normal to experience at Connecticut’s latitude. But larger changes in sleep in appetite can signal something more.
People who have SAD experience depression every winter, but their normal mood returns in the summer.
The treatment for SAD includes being exposed to 10,000 locks of bright light every morning, according to Dr. Paul Desan, an associate professor of psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine.
“We recommend that people get exposed to this level of light for 30 minutes before 8 a.m. every day of the week,” he said.
Desan said the rates of SAD are likely three times higher in women than in men — and it isn’t known why.
He stresses that anyone who is seeking treatment for major depression should work with a mental health professional.
More information on potential treatment options is available through the Yale School of Medicine Winter Depression Research Clinic.