There's more to it than just 'turning that frown upside-down.'
It's isolating to feel dark when everyone (and everything) seems so bright.
Winter weather makes most of us apprehensive about getting a cold or the flu, and often enough those fears are justified. No matter how religiously we wash our hands, keep our distance from others who already have the sniffles, or try to fortify our immune system with extra doses of vitamins, it seems to be a losing battle year after year. Yet some folks never appear to get affected. They just sail through this treacherous season without a hitch. How do these lucky few do it?
You're not alone.
It's critical that we start thinking about the effects of our long and dark winters on us now, so that we can take the steps needed to ward off the very real mental health challenges that can arise as part and parcel of Seasonal Affective Disorder.
About 15 per cent of Canadians get the "winter blues."
In the spring and summer, people are happier and spend more time outside, not only for the warm weather, but I believe, for the light. For me, there is nothing more energizing and uplifting than sunlight.When bright light enters our eyes, serotonin production is increased, and this makes us feel happy and alert.
So what is depression? It isn't like a typical disease that can be measured with a lab test. For this reason I think the best way to see depression is as a symptom. It is a mood state characterized by sadness or loss of pleasure. The question is what is creating the symptom?
Growing up I was a happy child, rain or shine, but recently, that is the past decade, the rainy Canadian West Coast weather has been getting to me more and more every year. If you are anything like me and have ever experienced SAD you know exactly what I'm talking about. You'll also wonder why on earth I keep going about how awful it feels and what the point is.