The lack of sunshine in the winter increases the risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) — a form of depression.
“In the winter and fall months, some people are prone to have depression,” psychiatrist Dr. Samuel Okpaku said.
While the exact causes of SAD is unknown, the reduction in sunlight in winter can throw your biological clock out of whack and reduce levels of serotonin — a brain chemical that influences mood — and melatonin — a chemical which regulates sleep and mood.
“The further you are away from the equator, the more likely you’re going to have Seasonal Affective Disorder,” Dr. Okpaku said.
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder are:
- feeling blue or depressed
- fatigue, low energy
- Trouble concentrating
- appetite, weight changes
- lack of interest