Winter Blues

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Days get shorter and temperatures get colder. Winter is in full swing and for some that means their mood takes a dive.

"With the days being short, we don't get as much vitamin D. Our skin synthesizes vitamin D from the sunlight we are exposed to," explains Supervised Psychologist, for Westbrook Health Services, Lisa Hutzler.

It's call Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or the Winter Blues. Experts with the Westbrook Health Services say symptoms are close to those of depression. "Often people feel tired, their processing speed is slowed down, their reaction time is a little slower, people eat a lot, and sometimes they'll have suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming themselves."

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says they also see it in many cases this time of year as well. "In the winter time, and the holidays, we tend to see people going through crisis situations, we tend to see a trend during that time frame," explains Chief Deputy, Mark Warden.

And while we all have our Mondays and bad hair days but for some they seem to never end. "Generally with SAD you will have a couple weeks of dealing with depression. We all have days where we don't feel quite like ourselves, just want to lay around in our pajamas and watch movies all day but if it goes on for a week to two weeks, it's best to talk to ones physician," continues Hutzler.

Experts say if it gets bad enough, visit a doctor or therapist but to try and combat the symptoms replace your Vitamin D with a supplement or healthy foods. "Don't hibernate. Try to keep yourself out socializing with other people, it's going to be difficult, it's not going to be easy, sometimes you have to like a firecracker under yourself to get yourself going but it is well worth it, you will feel better in the end."

If you feel symptoms of depression or feel suicidal you can contact the Westbrook Health Services crisis hot line at at 304-485-1725 or just to speak with someone there you can call 304-485-1721.

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