FOX 47 - Health News

MADISON (WMSN) -- Just over a week until Christmas, and many people are getting into the holiday spirit.

This is also peak time for Seasonal Affective Disorder. The blues can be hard to stay away from this time of year. If you're feeling it, it may not go away until Spring.

"Just kind of depressed and grumpy and listless," said Micah Kearns.

"Steve it seems like you get up its dark already you go to work you get out and its dark already," said Steve Alvarez.

"It makes me less likely to go outside," said Carly Ducharme.

It's the time of year, where even Psychiatrist Michael Peterson can get the blues.

"It tends to be harder to get going this time of year," said Dr. Michael Peterson, UW Health Psychiatrist.

The doctor says those living in Wisconsin are especially susceptible to sad.

When the days are shorter, it's harder to get that much needed vitamin D from the sun.

"Probably up to 20% of people will see a change of mood in the winter," said Dr. Peterson.

Signs to look out for include, withdrawing from friends and family, having less energy, sleeping and eating more. There are ways to take care of yourself, including light therapy to help get some artificial sun.

"The idea is that it helps reset your internal clock and having bright light will control parts of your brain that controls your mood," said Dr. Peterson.

Studies have shown shown sitting in front of the light 20 minutes a day can boost your spirits, more than medication can. There are other ways, to make sure you're not sad.

"Getting out side as much as I can," said Micah Kearns.

"I also like to cross country ski," said Carly Ducharme.

"I've got a 1-year-old at home, so spending time with her is always fun," said Steve Alvarez

The psychiatrist says if you've felt symptoms of sad for two winters in a row you may want to talk to your doctor to see if you have SAD.

How to fight the winter blues

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