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Handling the Ups and Downs of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Despite a little snow Tuesday morning there's hope! We could see 40s to 50s this weekend.

But if all of the up and down temperatures are affecting your mood lately, you could be among many with Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey met with Dr. Ali Chittalia from Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre to show us what Seasonal Affective Disorder is all about.

The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder include low energy, moodiness, lack of happiness, and a disrupted sleep cycle.

Some abbreviate this condition as S.A.D. For others, they just call it the winter blues.

When the temperature goes from 60 to three on the seven-day day forecast, you know it's been an up and down winter.

Bill Orr of Scranton said, "For me, it's not that bad. But other people, I can see how it gets them down because they just love that sun and everything. And when you don't have that sun, you just don't have that energy."

Not enough sunlight can take the skip out of your step! For some, it could lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"Physical symptoms can be extreme fatigue. You're tired. No energy. You don't feel like doing anything. And moods wise, you're low or socially withdrawn," explained Dr. Chittalia.

If you're feeling a little low because of the lack of sunlight, coupled with clouds and cold, here are some quick tips to get your happy back.

Dr. Chittalia said, "Get up early in the morning. Open up your curtains so you're exposed to light. Early morning walks. Get exposure to sunlight as much as you can. Exercise regularly."

Dr. Chittalia also suggests that if those tips don't help, don't be afraid to talk with a therapist or doctor. After all, it could be something other than Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"Let them make the diagnoses," added Dr. Chittalia.

And if it is S.A.D., one form of treatment prescribed by doctors is light therapy boxes which simulate the sun to make up for mother nature.

Adam Farley of Scranton said, "If it was warm out, we're happy, excited. More energized to do things."

After all, too little daylight can affect our circadian rhythms. This leads to a release of certain hormones and disruptions in our sleep cycle. And while Season Affective Disorder does make winter tough for some, not everyone thinks it's so rough.

Orr added, "I do some plowing. So I'm looking forward to the extra money."

Yerodin Lucas of Scranton said, "I like the winter."

"I like playing in the snow," added Connor Kapp of Dunmore. "[Do you like winter or summer more?] Summer more!"

The good news, there are only 156 days until summer.

By the way, doctors say Seasonal Affective Disorder will usually go away naturally in the warmer months to come.

Since S.A.D. is considered a type of depression and if your symptoms persist or get worse, definitely talk with your doctor or a therapist about it because it could be something else you`re dealing with. Never self-diagnose.

For more of the risk factors and treatments, click here. Here there's a lot of helpful information from the National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Highwaymen

    Another “we are better than you” story from the media in the information age? We are being bombarded with nonsense constantly. There is a medical condition related to the thyroid, but the fact that a lot of once really active humans became lummoxes comes down to conditioning and communal interaction. That practice gets helped along by these welfare state promoting stories, concurrently failed policies that most people seek limited avenues of information to confirm, and the fact that wealth through work is rarely rewarded while privacy is cast aside. Trolls building troll colonies which sucks for the rest of us that are dealing with previous heartfelt obligations. Time to leave and see how great their policies really are.

  • trashy neighbors moved in

    im sad at the trashy neighbors i have thanks to welfare putting these bums in housing at the taxpayers expense, this should take at least 10% off the resell value of my home

  • You must be joking!

    I have these symptoms! I also sometimes get mad, sad, bored, and depressed in the winter when I have to shovel snow. I hope this makes me the victim of some new phycological disorder so I can quit work and get a government check! We can label the condition…..snowflake (or buttercup) winter syndrone! Or we can just call it what it is…..LIFE in a region thet has winter weather. Cure for this….MOVE! Guaranteed to work! Are we trying to invent yet another reason to avoid life?

    • ME Quincy

      So you are making fun of a disease. I guess that since you are such a perfect person, you can control everything that goes on in your twisted little head. You people are disgusting.

    • You must be joking!

      Yeh what a terrible job he is doing! The economy is collapsing, the jobs market and unemployment are awful, the stock market is in the tank. We are all doom and gloom, just likd you liberals predicted……..NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Robert

    Hmmm, wonder what people that live where the sun don’t shine or months do. I heard Norwegians believe the weather is just fine if dressed for it. For those able bodies that want Burger King 24/7 365 or whine like babies I say shoe laces and a solid anchor will fix you up. Those non able bodies, I’d go with some marijuana.

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