Winter got you down?
During Michigan's long, cold winters, some people experience "winter blues" or more severe seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder:
SAD symptoms include low mood, lack of energy and increased sleeping and eating.
The most common pattern of SAD is depression in fall or winter with improved mood in the spring. But some people have the opposite pattern, with depression in the summer.
SAD is more common among people living in northern United States than in the south and more common further from the equator. Among Americans, it is more common in women than men.
If you experience low mood during fall or winter, you may wish to:
- Talk to a counselor at the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) -- free for currently enrolled U-M students
- Use the light boxes at the CAPS Wellness Zone -- free
- Get your own light box to use daily -- one source is Verilux -- not very expensive
- Wake up to a "sunrise alarm" that gradually brightens your sleep space like the rising sun - not very expensive
- Put up a string of lights to brighten a room - inexpensive
- Consider other Winter Survival Tips -many free options
For more information:
See Resources for Stress and Mental Health which lists additional campus, local and national resources.