Seeing the light about Seasonal Affective Disorder

The drastic shortening of daylight as we approach winter is noticeable to all. For some, this change signals the onset of depression, commonly known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). According to the NIMH, symptoms of SAD can include: depressed mood, weight gain, sleeping more than usual, and an urge to “hibernate”.

The onset of SAD symptoms is typically in the fall, associated with waning daylight and can persist throughout winter. Many might not realize what they always called the “winter blues” is a recognized and treatable medical condition. Medications, psychotherapy, Vitamin D and light therapy are all possible treatment options. Light therapy utilizes a special lamp that mimics the full-spectrum rays emitted from the sun to reduce the symptoms of SAD. Not all lights available for purchase meet the specific criteria necessary to be effective. Be sure to talk with your physician about which lamp is best for you. A possible resource is Northern Lights Technologies,,  which offers a wide array of lamp options.

If you or a loved one are in need of mental health assistance, please reach out to our Parish Nurse Jill Steward at or one of the pastors.