It’s that time of year again – the end of daylight savings and the beginning of the dark season. While many of us look forward to seasonal festivities, millions can also expect feelings of depression, fatigue, irritability and poor sleep. This form of mental illness, commonly known as the “winter blues”, is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
SAD occurs most frequently in populations furthest from the equator. It is estimated that 1-2% of North Americans have a mood disorder with a seasonal pattern, with 10% of New Englanders versus 2% of Floridians affected. Symptoms include feelings of hopelessness, low concentration, sluggishness, social withdrawal, unhappiness and irritability.