Wellness Weekly: understanding and coping with seasonal affective disorder 

Understanding and Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – from the Wellness Council of Wisconsin 

Winter can be a challenging time in Wisconsin, with long, dark, and cold days ahead. It’s common for individuals to feel down during this season and experience significant changes in mood and behavior. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, this may be a sign of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that occurs during the fall and winter months and is linked to a decrease in natural sunlight. 

Symptoms of SAD include low energy, changes in appetite and weight, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and feelings of sadness or hopelessness, among others. However, there are several treatments available to alleviate these symptoms. Light therapy, which involves exposure to bright light for a specific amount of time each day, is a common treatment for SAD. Antidepressant medication, talk therapy and lifestyle changes, such as regular exercise or increasing exposure to natural sunlight, are other treatment options.  

Employees and members of their households have 24/7 access to Marquette’s EAP, LifeMatters. Call (800) 634-6433 to talk to a licensed counselor. Learn more about other resources for mental health here