SAD: Changing season, changing mood

Canadian winters can be tough, and for some people they can trigger a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Find out how to tackle its symptoms, and why it’s more than just the winter blues.

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SAD: Not just the winter blues

Everyone knows that the weather can impact our mood. A sunny morning can set us up for a great day, while a rainy afternoon can make us feel tired and blue. As the seasons shift into winter, and the days become shorter, some people feel low and it’s more than just the winter blues. Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that happens during the winter months when there is less natural light from the sun.

Still, if SAD affects you, there are ways to make you feel better while you count down the days until spring.


SAD: A type of depression

If you struggle with your mood every winter, you may be one of many Canadians who experience SAD. As with other types of depression, SAD is diagnosed when some or all of the following symptoms last for more than 2 months:
  • Feelings of despair and hopelessness
  • Losing interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Crying for no reason
  • Weight gain
  • Feeling tired and/or irritable
  • Lack of concentration
  • Low energy
  • Increased appetite
  • Oversleeping (sometimes an extra 2 to 4 hours per day)
Depression is nobody’s fault, and it is surprisingly common. About 2 to 6% of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime. Another 15% experience a milder form of SAD. Fortunately, depression – including SAD – can be treated.

Shining a light on SAD

The first step to tackling SAD is accepting that it is an illness, and not a sign of weakness.

Accepting your symptoms and knowing that your recovery will be unique to you can also be a comfort. The support from your friends and family, and many online and community resources can help.

Your doctor may recommend antidepressant medication or counselling.

Other techniques for tacking SAD include:
  • Light therapy using an SAD lamp
  • Exercise
For more information and advice, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart.
Or read more on depression and anxiety at this website:
Pfizer Strive

Important information

The Pharmacist at Walmart is always available to talk to you about how to manage seasonal affective disorder. Come on into the pharmacy and... Just ask!

Sponsored by

  • Pfizer Strive
  • Teva
  • HemovelTM
  • OneTouch Verio® IQ

This information should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your doctor. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances. If you have questions about your symptoms, ask the Pharmacist at Walmart for more information, and/or contact your doctor.

The pharmacist at Walmart does not endorse or recommend any sponsor or their products or services.
Any representation, performance claim, warranty or guarantee in any materials herein is the sole responsibility of the sponsor that has prepared such materials and is not independently verified by Walmart.

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