Many are looking forward to the winter sports and snowball fights, but for some, it’s a fight to make it through the dark and cold winter months.
Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD, affects roughly 3 million people every year.
However, it is often just written off for what many might call the “Winter Blues”.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms to look out for include depression,low energy, difficulty concentrating, irritability, feelings of hopelessness, trouble sleeping, changes in weight/ appetite, etc.
These symptoms usually occur when the weather changes from summer to fall and typically disappear once spring arrives with warmer temperatures.
But for many, the winter months are some of the hardest they will ever have to go through.
For one woman in Montana, the first snow isn’t the start of a winter wonderland, but a start to what feels like her own, dark prison.
"I look up in the morning and it’s almost like that instant ugh…dread that the air just kind of comes out of you; and especially when you first wake up in the morning and you see it. It kinda hits you and it just fills you with kind of a dread. My bed is my sanctuary but at the same time it’s my prison," describes Sarah Kimkowski, a house maker in Great Falls who was diagnosed with SAD a few years ago.
For Sarah, one of the hardest things to conquer when it comes to Seasonal Affective Disorder is to not get trapped inside your own head.
Sarah went on to also told me that the happiest people you meet or know might be the ones you want to look out for the most.
According to Cleveland Clinic Psychiatrist Mirica Sanders, if you or someone you know has Seasonal Affective Disorder, you shouldn’t take it lightly.
Getting seen by a doctor will help you to get the proper treatment plan underway.