News / 

Surviving the Season-- Beating the Winter Blues

Surviving the Season-- Beating the Winter Blues

Save Story
Leer en espaƱol

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

Coco Warner reporting For some, winter is a favorite season-- they love the cold and the snow. But a lot of people experience a case of the winter blues, feeling sluggish and less social. And in a few cases, some become seriously depressed.

There is a big difference between the winter blues and seasonal affective disorder. Most of the time, the winter blues can be easily overcome by increasing your activity and getting outside. But if it's more than that, and every winter you become so depressed that if effects how you function, you may want to consider getting help.

Rose Eley has some experience with depression, but she noticed her symptoms: irritibility, lack of focus, feeling lethargic and crying a lot-- seemed to get worse in the winter.

Rose Eley/Suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder: "One of the things I noticed was that my grades would drop dramatically in the winter. My winter classes, I'd be taking classes over again into the spring."

She was diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder in 1985. Experts attribute the disorder, which occurs during the winter months, to increased levels of melatonin and a decrease of the sun-produced seratonin.

Rose's doctor prescribed anti-depressants.

Rose Eley/Suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder: "Over the last few years she placed me on a lower dose in the summer. We double the dose in the winter. It's become an automatic reflex now."

Marge McCoy/Psychiatric Nurse Practioner: "One of the treatments that they have found that has been very helpful are a bank of fluorescent lights."

But even if your blues aren't so serious, you do want to make sure you remain active and try and keep to your regular routine during the winter. And realize you're fighting nature's instinct of hibernation.

Marge McCoy/Psychiatric Nurse Practioner: "As winter starts to come on, the melatonin in our systems increases and that makes you want to sleep more and vegetate."

An easy fix if you're feeling blue this winter-- get outside and take a quick walk.

Marge McCoy/Psychiatric Nurse practioner: "Maybe walking for 45 minutes every single day in the sun helps a lot of folks-- the exercise and being in the natural sunlight."

Of course, if you're ever feeling seriously depressed or suicidal, you'll want to seek professional help.

But, here are some ways to overcome the winter blues and its more extreme form, seasonal affective disorder:

Walk outside
Exercise regularly
Use a bank of flourescent lights
With a doctor's prescription-- anti-depressants may be necessary
Enlist the support of family, friends-- and in some cases, professional help.

Coming up on Monday-- a course in winter driving-- how to battle the rain, sleet and snow.

Related links

Most recent News stories


Get informative articles and interesting stories delivered to your inbox weekly. Subscribe to the Trending 5.
By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

KSL Weather Forecast