Connections Jan 2015 - Page 27

brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that is work problems, substance abuse, and suicidal believed to be partly responsible for our moods. thoughts or behavior in which case medical The less serotonin, the lower our mood. treatment is urgent. Treatment consists of Therefore causing a depressive episode possibly medication, psychotherapy, and light therapy. for the duration of the winter months. According to the Mayo Clinic, some of Tips to ease symptoms of SAD and holiday depression: the risk factors for SAD include being female; • Maintain a healthy support system although SAD is more common in women it is • Make extra time for yourself more severe in men, a family history of • Don't skip medications depression, and having depression or bipolar • Plan ahead for events and gatherings disorder. • Don't expect perfection Symptoms for fall and winter SAD are irritability, tired/low energy, oversleeping, appetite changes, and weight gain. The more • Get outside • Make environment bright and sunny • See a doctor if symptoms don't improve serious signs are social withdrawal, school or BOBBIE BROWNING is the author of "It's The Depression Talking: A SelfHelp Memoir." Bobbie lives in northern Michigan with her children and spends her time as a single mother, writer and mental health advocate. After becoming a published author, Bobbie is currently in the process of forming a non-profit depression support group under the same name as her feature book; IT'S THE DEPRESSION TALKING. For more information contact: