For some people, winter weather brings more than just cold temperatures. It brings the feeling of ever-looming darkness and despair with symptoms of increased sleep, a change in appetite, carbohydrate cravings and weight gain known collectively and cleverly as SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder. To be diagnosed with SAD, people must have depressive episodes coinciding with specific seasons for at least two years. The sophisticated pathophysiology isn’t well understood, but there are several approaches you can take to treating this form of depression. For those wanting to try integrative therapies to improve your mood during the winter months, here are a few things you can try at home.
Farha Syed is a second year resident in the Department of Family Medicine. She has a passion for integrative approaches in medicine and hopes to incorporate them into her daily practice once completing residency.