TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As winter officially gets started, the season change could send some people into deep depression.
Doctors say this time of year can cause what is called Seasonal Affective Disorder, a depression that emerges during the winter months.
The symptoms can include low energy, loss in appetite, not being able to sleep and not enjoying things an individual usually would.
In extreme cases, doctors say the condition can trigger suicidal thoughts or even attempted suicide.
Experts say the added pressure of the holidays can make the depression worse. Family gatherings can bring reminders of loved ones lost.
Dr. Ole Thienhaus, with the University of Arizona Department of Psychiatry, says in some cases the depression can be treated without medication. Some patients can use artificial lights a couple hours a day.
However, that’s not the case for everyone. He says some patients may need to seek professional help.
Regardless of the approach, Thienhaus says the condition should be addressed as it could also affect those around you.
“That affects, not just the person, but the whole family,” he said. “Especially when I see women in their young adulthood up to middle age and most worried about the impact the depression has on their kids.”
Thienhaus says it typically affects those who suffer from depression year-round, however, he says it sometimes can affect those who don’t typically deal with depression.