The days are getting shorter. Fall has arrived in all its resplendent beauty. While the changing colors are lovely, insufficient daylight may find you down in the dumps and more tired than usual.
The world-renowned Mayo Clinic estimates that ten to twenty percent (and maybe more) of the population suffers from some sort of seasonal depression brought on by shorter days. Some estimates indicate there are millions of North Americans who suffer from a more extreme version of “winter blues” called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Women aged twenty to forty are four times more likely to suffer from this disorder than men and it is believed this is because there is some correlation between estrogen and progesterone and SAD.
SAD is more common in northern locations such as Canada and the Northern United States. An American study about the disorder found that only about 1.4 percent of people in Florida experienced symptoms.
There are numerous symptoms of SAD, but the main ones usually appear in the winter and include: a change in appetite, particularly for sweet or starchy foods, weight gain, change in sleep patterns, a tendency to oversleep, avoidance of social situations, decreased ability to concentrate, irritability, and, of course, decreased energy.