SAD Wisconsinites?

Posted Friday --- February 15, 2008

Seasonal affective disorder, or "SAD", is more common in the Northern States and is believed to be triggered by a decrease in sunshine.

And, while many Wisconsinites are doing what they can to find warmer thoughts, for some, the winter blues are tougher to fight.

It's been a long, dark and snowy winter.

And while most Wisconsinites at least like the snow, most are saying "no more!"

Amber Noel says, "I'm getting sick of it. It's really cold and it snows every day, just bring on the spring."

While spring we'll have to wait on spring, at least the sun was shining Friday afternoon.

That's one way Dr. Ferguson, a psychologist with Dean Health Systems, recommends fighting SAD.

Dr. Ferguson says, "It's based on a lack of sunlight, there's shorter days, but also less exposure to sunlight. And specifically as the theory goes, sunlight stimulates the production of melatonin and serotonin and those are mood regulating transmitters."

Which can make you feel down right depressed.

Dr. Ferguson says, "Increase in tiredness and mood, exhaustion, a craving for carbohydrates and a variety of other symptoms that go along with SAD."

Symptoms both men and women experience in cycles once a month, which is normal, but what's not is if it last more than a week or two.

That's when Dr. Ferguson says you should probably be checked out or try taking a few small steps yourself.

Dr. Ferguson says, "I think it helps a little bit to open blinds and just expose yourself to the light as much as possible. I think getting out as much as possible is helpful. For so many reasons, just getting a little aerobic exercise will help stave off these symptoms as well."

There are two ways to clinically treat SAD, one is with anti-depressants,

The other is by using light therapy you can purchase at some area stores.

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