WYOMING NEWS SERVICE, Laramie, WY – The dead of winter in Wyoming inspires some to pack their bags for the southern climes and become “snow birds” as a means to escape the short days and cold temperatures.
Lack of sunlight during the winter months can trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder, called SAD, with those living in northern states most likely to feel its effects. Clinician Jesse Bell is an expert in identifying and treating SAD, which can range from mild to debilitating. He describes the symptoms.
Other symptoms to watch for include oversleeping, irritability, weight gain and/or a craving for starchy foods. Bell adds that SAD can go hand-in-hand with other types of depression.
A general physician can help screen for symptoms, and treatments include light therapy, talk and group therapy and medications.
Bell says it's estimated that 10-million Americans experience SAD. In fact, according to the National Mental Health Association, three out of four SAD sufferers are women.