Winter depression (or the winter blues) is a common affliction that affects individuals seasonally. Its clinical name is seasonal affective disorder (SAD) which impacts up to 5% of the population.
Individuals may experience low level symptoms of depression during the winter months that do not reach the threshold of SAD. For example, according to Dr. Philip Gehrman, at the University of Pennsylvania, “some researchers believe that the decrease in daylight hours over the winter months triggers a hibernation of sorts.” This leads to feelings of sluggishness, increased appetite, increased need for sleep, and a noticeable change in mood.
Here are some suggestions for preventing seasonal depression:
If none of these strategies work or your depression is worsening, consider consulting with a mental-health professional. It can be readily treated and with little effort can be beaten. Counseling & Psychological Services provides free and confidential counseling. You can make an appointment by calling 610-902-8561, visiting Founder’s Hall Room 95, or online at www.cabrini.edu/counseling.