The German Society for Medicine and Psychotherapy has announced that Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) include winter depression also known as winter blues. This type of depression is largely caused by the gloomy atmosphere – darkness, clouds, rain, and shorter days- that dominates this season.
The association explained that the diminishing sunlight in winter makes the body change the rhythm of day and night, which leads to disruptions in the balance of hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain.
Symptoms of winter depression include:
Exhaustion and agitation
Self-neglect and isolation
Loss of motivation
Lethargy and fatigue
Loss of appetite
Furthermore, The German Society added that winter depression can be treated by regular exposure to sunlight through outdoor hikes and regular exercise.
However, severe cases may require consulting a psychiatrist and undergoing psychotherapy or pharmacological treatment (such as antidepressants).
Moreover, phototherapy which uses light that resembles sunlight can help provide the body with the light it needs.