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Winter Blues.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or “winter blues” is a form of depression that can occur with the change of season, from autumn to winter.

Most people tend to change their behaviour during the colder months, hibernating at home and possibly feeling less energetic, which is natural.

SAD is a step up from that, it can affect your emotional wellbeing for weeks or months, and in severe cases can be disabling or prevent people from performing normally without medical treatment. The symptoms typically appear at the end of autumn and carry on until spring is sprung.

According to the Mental Health Foundation of NZ “The exact cause of SAD is unknown. It may be that the drop in sunlight hours affects the body’s chemical balances and make our body clocks go out of step. SAD is less likely to occur in New Zealand than in countries that have little sunlight in winter.”

You should not just ignore the various signs or symptoms of SAD, so seek advice from your doctor. It may be as easy as just getting out in the sun for a while each day. For most, a combination of light therapy, medication and talking therapies such as counselling will be effective.

For more information see mentalhealth.org.nz/…/seasonal-affective-disorder

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