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Seasonal Affective Disorder doesn't have to steal your happiness during the winter months.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year — usually in winter. It occurs more often in women than in men.

Symptoms include hopelessness, increased appetite with weight gain, loss of interest in work or other activities, social withdrawal, low energy, inability to concentrate, and increased sleep.

There are some things you can do at home to manage your symptoms:

  • Avoid alcohol
  • Eat healthy foods
  • Exercise
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take prescribed medicines

As with other types of depression, medication and counseling can be effective as well as light therapy, a special lamp that mimics light from the sun. If you think you are suffering from SAD, contact your doctor.

Additional health and wellness information
If you're a Highmark member, you have access to a secure, members-only website that provides information about SAD.

To access your Highmark member website, select the service region noted on your member ID card. After logging in, select the "Wellness" tab and type "seasonal affective disorder" in the search field. For more information on your Highmark member website, read How to Register on Your Highmark Member Website by Amanda Changuris.