Short days, sad days

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is depression brought on by the dark, gloomy days of winter. This depressed mood usually appears during late fall or early winter and goes away during the warmer, sunnier days of spring and summer. It may start out mildly and become more severe as the season progresses.

To fight the effects of SAD, open the blinds and make the house as bright as possible. Visit with friends, exercise out in the sun. Do NOT turn to alcohol or recreational drugs for relief. Talk to your doctor, because this type of depression may be treated by light therapy - sitting in front of full-spectrum lights for one hour per day. However, be wary of gadgets that promise miraculous results.

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