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Feeling down? Depressed? What exactly are the “winter blues?”

Feeling down? Depressed? What are the “winter blues?”
Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD), often referred to as “winter blues,” is a relatively common form of depression. Although the specific cause is currently debated, lack of sunlight during the low-light months of winter appears to be a major factor. In fact, the latitude at which you live is an important variable. Symptoms vary from mild to severe and develop in late fall and clear up in early spring. Phototherapy (full-spectrum fluorescent light therapy) has been proven an effective treatment. Self-Coaching can be very effective in minimizing the negativity, moodiness, guilt, and inertia of associated with SAD.
Even though SAD may have physiological underpinnings, it’s important to understand that with any mood disturbance, your thoughts do matter. Big time! Be on the lookout for ruminative thoughts characterized by doubts, fears, and excessive negativity. You may not be able to stop the initial negative thought from popping into your head, but you sure as heck can stop the second thought, the third, the fourth. How? Any way you can! Distract yourself, turn on the TV, call a friend, go for a walk, listen to music, turn on those florescent lights and engage more fully in what’s going on around you. This winter, don’t become a passive victim of depression’s tendency to highjack your thoughts.
#SAD #winterblues #seasonalaffectivedisorder

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