This is the time of year when about ten percent of Minnesotans start to deal with seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder (SAD). U of M Assistant Professor Jeannie Larson says less sunlight in the fall can lead to symptoms that include social withdrawal and a sense of hopeless:
“There’s craving carbohydrate-rich comfort foods, weight gain, a sense of irritability, kind of a short fuse, anxious. There’s also kind of a sexual lethargy or loss of libido that comes from it as well.”
Larson says a light box, or a dawn simulator can help lessen the severity of seasonal depression symptoms. She also recommends opening window shades, getting outside 30 minutes a day and eating fruits and vegetables.