Gloomy weather can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder

Posted at 10:16 PM, Nov 28, 2018

The days are getting shorter and that means less sunlight. Fog and recent cloudy weather doesn't help. It may even affect the way you feel.  

"Actually i think it is very common the further North you go," Inger Persson, LSCW, outpatient mental health counselor. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is felt most often during the Fall and Winter months when there is less light. 

"It just feels like there's a heavy cloud on you. Tired, fatigue, just kind of sad, not motivated, just general depression type things, but just wish you could kind of swim out of it," said Jennifer Folz, Boise resident. 

Folz says she's dealt with seasonal affective disorder since her early teens.

"I had to have a plan for what to do on days where I felt it coming on or things to look forward to. For me, that meant planning trips somewhere usually end of January, February, sometimes March," said Folz. 

Persson says the symptoms are much like major depressive disorder. She says exercise helps because it produces dopamine in your brain. 

"Be outside as much as you can especially in the mornings when you get a more full spectrum light," said Persson. 

She says a healthy diet plays a huge part. 

"One of the things that interferes in our mood is if we indulge in carbohydrates and sugars because that affects the glucosamine levels in your brain so that produces some rapid mood swings," said Persson. 

"I think that's one thing that people are afraid to say this is affecting me or I'm feeling this way because it gets labeled or it gets, you know people who don't have it don't understand it," said Folz
"I think just getting to know your own body and getting to know how you deal with it will help with what makes you happy. what makes you engage you and just pushing just a little bit harder than you normally would in the summer."