Winter Depression On The Rise

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  • The onslaught of brutal weather battering certain parts of the nation over the past few weeks is beginning to take a toll on the health and well-being of some residents living through it, CBS Atlanta reports.

    From Texas to the Carolinas to Atlanta, the roads were paved with ice and scores were left without power as a wintry mix hit Wednesday. The Mid-Atlantic region was also expected to be socked by the storm and up to a foot of snow could fall in some areas, the report says.

    The harsh winter storms may be causing some people to develop what is known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression or mental illness that develops during the winter months and is caused by a combination of cold temperatures, precipitation, and shorter days.

    Dr. Norman Rosenthal, the clinical psychiatrist who first described the condition and writes about it in the book, “Winter Blues,” told CBS Atlanta that he has “seen a lot of [seasonal affective disorder] this season.”

    “There has been a tremendous amount of it around, even in people who think they’ve got it under control,” he told CBS.

    Symptoms include a change in appetite, especially cravings for sweet or starchy foods; weight gain; a drop in energy level; fatigue; and a tendency to oversleep, according to a report at the American Academy of Family Physicians.

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