Combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder this winter

Published: Jan. 15, 2020 at 5:16 PM CST
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"Feeling hopeless, worthless maybe some brain fog those types of systems are pretty common," said Dr. Eric Trautmann, SwedishAmerican.

The winter days are shorter and darker causing many people to experience Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"We think anywhere from 10% to 20% of people can be affected by this disorder," Trautmann said.

Dr. Trautmann says people who struggle with the disorder can have mood swings during certain months.

"It certainly can be diagnosed and treated with primary care doctor of psychiatrist and it is treatable," Trautmann said.

Social Worker Kevin Polky says his patients typically show signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder after the holidays.

"The activities that were busy during the holidays are over we have this colder time of the year, we are bundled up inside and so their world gets smaller," Polky said.

Doctor Trautmann says the most efficient treatments are medication, light therapy and counseling. But there are other things you can do on your own.

"Getting outdoors, getting fresh air, getting some light from outdoors can help," Trautmann said.

"Utilizing exercise, utilizing other forms that help me either music or art, reading those types of things are all things that will get me out of a negative loop of thinking," Polky said.

While many call it the winter blues, people can suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder any time of the year.

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