Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder a.k.a. Winter Blues


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Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), also known as "winter depression" or "winter blues" is a pattern of seasonal depression, occurring at the same time each year beginning in late fall or early winter months and ending in spring.

We offer FREE light therapy to all University of New Hampshire students, faculty and staff. To make an appointment and learn more about SAD, please visit

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Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder a.k.a. Winter Blues

  1. 1. SADSeasonal Affective Disorder
  2. 2. “Winter Blues” Have YouFeelingDown?
  3. 3. What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? Winter Blues that impact your day-to-day functioning Occurs during the winter months (generally October – April) Form of depression relieved during the spring and summer months
  4. 4. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) SAD is a real illness with sometimes severe symptoms Our “biological internal clocks” (circadian rhythms) shift when seasons change in response to the changes in sunlight patterns People with SAD have a difficult time adjusting to the shortage of sunlight in the winter months
  5. 5. Who Gets Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?Anyone.• Young people and women are at the highest risk• 25% percent of the population suffer from mild SAD• 5% suffer from a more severe form of the disorderWhat causes SAD?Melatonin is believed to cause symptoms of depression and isproduced at increased levels in the dark, which is increased inthe winter months.
  6. 6. Symptoms ofSeasonal Affective Disorder Increased sadness Increased appetite, including craving of carbohydrates Higher irritability Increased anxiety Increased weight Increased sleep, lower quality rest Lack of energy Problems concentrating Social and interpersonal strain Menstrual difficulties
  7. 7. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatment There is no need to wait for the spring months to overcome SAD!Follow these steps to treat your case of “winter blues”  Spend time outdoors during the day  Arrange your residence/work space to receive more sun  Regular exercise, particularly outside  Eat meals that have limited amounts of processed food  Increase intake of fruits and vegetables  Light therapy can suppress secretion of melatonin (Individuals sit in front of the light box for a few minutes daily while they read or do other activities)  Antidepressant medications may help if you are severely affected by SAD
  8. 8. Light Therapy at Health ServicesFor Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) FREE Light Therapy is available to all UNH students,faculty, and staff. Appointments / Information: (603) 862-3823|Health Services, Room 249
  9. 9. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Treatment There is no need to wait for the spring months to overcome SAD!Health ServicesMake an appointment with a Physician or a Nurse Practitioner atHealth Services if you think that you may have SAD by calling(603) 862-1806.Light Therapy is available for free to all UNH students, faculty, andstaff by calling (603) 862-3823 or visiting Health Services, Room 249.Counseling CenterYou may want to make an appointment with a Psychologist at theCounseling Center by calling (603) 862-2090.
  10. 10. Seasonal Affective Disorder Additional ResourcesBook: Winter Blues: Banishing the Blues of Seasonal Affective Disorder, Rosenthal, N.E. (1998).Available for check-out in the Health Services Resource Library, 2nd FloorWeb Sites: UNH Health Services, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, Psychology Information Online,