The winter months leave Canadians with less sunlight and cause some to experience a change in mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a term which encompasses many of the symptoms of the winter blues.

"More specifically, SAD is a condition that we talk about at this time of year that is a subset of depressive disorder," said Dawn Sawatsky, Mental Health Liaison Nurse for Southern Health-Santé Sud.

Common symptoms of SAD include a reduced interest in usual activities or decreased concentration. "Low energy, fatigue, just feeling drowsy throughout the day," said Sawatsky.

Sawatsky noted that serotonin, melatonin and your circadian rhythm all play a part in the change of season.dawn sawatskyDawn Sawatsky (submitted photo)

"A recent Denmark study suggests, actually, that there is a connection between time change and affect on people's mood, so that is leading right into winter season," Sawatsky said.

"There is a marked increase in the months following Autumn... where there's marked increase in diagnosis of depression," she added.

Sawatsky notes researchers believe SAD can present with varying levels of severity.

"Typically about 5 per cent of the population will get SAD," she said. "Typically in areas that are further away from the equator, those are the populations that are seemingly getting higher levels of SAD."

This is because less access and exposure to sunlight during the winter months results in decreased production of serotonin.

"When light enters our eyes, it produces serotonin," said Sawatsky. "Apparently that does have an affect on our mood."

When it comes to being proactive and battling symptoms, healthy sleeping and eating patterns can play a role.

Research out of Ryerson University suggests resisting the urge to sleep longer than recommended, said Sawatsky.

"We don't want to over sleep or under sleep, essentially," she said.

Other suggestions for a good quality sleep include winding down before bed, turning off screens, clearing your thoughts, and having healthy nutrition habits.

Light therapy can also be helpful, although is not meant to replace sunlight, said Sawatsky. SAD Light rental or purchases are available through the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba.

Sawatsky notes a marked change in appetite, activity, and loss of interest can be a sign of a major depressive disorder. Help from a doctor should be sought if symptoms interfere with every day life, or include feelings of worthlessness or thoughts of self-harm.

Another available resource is the Crisis Response Service at 1-866-588-1697 or 1-888-617-7715 for residents east of the Red River.

More Local News

Pregnancy Care Centre Receives "Game-Changing" Support

The Pembina Valley Pregnancy Care Centre recently received a $4,300 boost thanks to Appelt's Diamonds. The charity had been chosen as part of Appelt's battery exchange program. Customers receive…

Province Says Major Spring Flooding Unlikely in Manitoba

It doesn't appear that flooding will be an issue for most areas of the province this spring. The Government of Manitoba issued its first flood outlook for the 2018 season and Infrastructure Minister…

RPGA Sending Fringe Area Plan Back To Consultant

The Fringe Area Secondary Plan initiated by the RPGA Planning District is being sent back to the consultant for further work. The RPGA board of directors was not satisfied with a draft version of the…

Modular Housing Coming To Rosenort

Rosenort will soon see new residential development in the community. RM of Morris Reeve Ralph Groening said modular homes will be constructed this year. "We are finalizing the sale of building lots…

Plum Coulee Gearing Up To Open New Active Living Centre

Volunteers are getting ready to open the new Plum Coulee Active Living Centre early this spring. Committee member, June Letkeman, said the search has begun to find different programs and activities…

Tender Awarded For New Winkler School

A local construction company will soon begin work on the new K-8 school in Winkler. WBS Construction has been awarded the Pine Ridge Elementary School project. Garden Valley School Division Board…

"Fluke Accident" Sends Pick Up Truck Rolling

No one was injured Thursday morning when a pick-up truck hit the ditch west of St. Joseph. "It was a total fluke accident," said Jean-Guy Chartier, Letellier Fire Chief. He explained that the driver…

Morris RCMP Snag Repeat Thief

A woman known to area police has been arrested for stealing liquor from a store in Morris over the weekend. Morris RCMP were called to the shop on Main Street on Sunday evening and discovered that a…

Province Releases Harassment Policy

The Pallister government has unveiled a workplace harassment policy for people working for the province. It's a 5-point response to recent allegations of sexual misconduct by government workers.…

Former Pilot Mound Resident Enjoying Winter Games In South Korea

A former Pilot Mound resident, now teaching in South Korea, is enjoying the Winter Games. Lindsay Gemmill moved to Korea five years ago to teach. Her plan was to stay a year and she ended up meeting…

PembinaValleyOnline.com is your only local source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

01
Feb
2018
MS Society Support Available

01 February 2018 - 03 March 2018, 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

TBA





02
Feb
2018
Pond Hockey Tournament

02 February 2018 - 04 March 2018, 12:00 am - 12:00 am

Pembina Valley Pond Hockey, Thornhill





07
Feb
2018
Casting Call for Manitoba's Passion Play 2018

07 February 2018 - 28 February 2018, 1:00 pm - 7:00 pm

la riviere manitoba-Oak Valley





13
Feb
2018
Morden Festival of the Arts - BAND

13 February 2018 , 9:30 am

Westside Community Church, Morden





20
Feb
2018
Income Tax Clinics Booking Opens

20 February 2018 - 28 February 2018, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Morden Activity Centre, Morden





24
Feb
2018
Alzheimer Ukrainian Dinner - Carman

24 February 2018 5:00 pm

Carman Community Hall





24
Feb
2018
Alzheimer Ukrainian Dinner - Carman

24 February 2018 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Carman Community Hall





Login