Beating the winter blues – The Cornwall Standard Freeholder – Ontario, CA

The brain relies on external stimulation for control of our behaviours and thoughts, Roumeliotis said.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer of health with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit, said SAD differs from the winter blues in that it can be debilitative for some people.eastern ontario health unit cornwall Since it is a mood disorder, people experience what he calls vegetative symptoms, which are symptoms that interfere with ones behaviours, such as the need to sleep more often.

Many people experience symptoms such as a change in appetite, especially craving sweet or starchy foods, weight gain, decreased energy, tigue, tendency to over sleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability, avoid-a nce of social situations and feelings of anxiety and despair.

CORNWALL — If youre feeling the blues, it might just be that time of year.

According to the CMHA website, SAD is more common in women than men.

People are coming back every year, she said. Its kind of becoming our way of life to vacation in the summer and in the winter.

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According to the Canadian Mental Health Association website, research in Ontario suggests that approximately two to three per cent of the general population, have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Another 15 per cent, the website says, are affected by a less severe form called the winter blues.

Most importantly, Ledoux-Moshonas said, if someone is experiencing any symptoms that resemblBeating the winter blues – The Cornwall Standard Freeholder – Ontario, CAe depression or SAD, a doctor or medical professional should be consulted.

Light therapy is a popular prescription for SAD, and entails the person sitting in front of a light source, such as a florescent lamp, for a certain period of time at a certain time of day. Light sources can be purchased from many retailers for about $100.

A lot of people deal with it, he said. Theres a lot of ways to counter balance it.

As soon as the weather gets bad here, people think, Its winter, and I need to go somewhere., McLean said.

Barb McLean, travel agent with Marlin Travel in Cornwall, said this is the busiest time of year for the business, with clients requesting sunny destinations to escape the cold winter.

More often, he said, many people feel just feel down as a result of the transition from summer to winter.

It really does benefit me, she said. I find it uplifts my mood and energy level.

Arranging household furniture to maximize exposure to natural sunlight can also be beneficial, as well as taking screens off wind ow s and trimming tree branches that may block light.

Ledoux-Moshonas said she uses her light source at her desk for 30 minutes in the morning.

Ledoux-Moshonas said personally, she uses light therapy to uplift her mood during the winter.

And if you can afford it, she said, head somewhere warm on a vacation.

She said spending more time outside during the day, such as a walk during a lunch hour, is a great way to absorb natural light during the winter months.

She said the most popular destinations this year are Caribbean countries.

Joanne Ledoux-Moshonas, manager of health promotion for CMHA, said the best way to combat SAD and the winter blues is exercise and eating a balanced diet.

Cassandra Taylor stares out a window at the snow covered houses. About 15% Ontarians are affected by the Winter Blues.

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