Winter Blues Are SAD by Cher’ley

This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Seasonal Affective Disorder Makes a Person Feel Tired and Depressed

Early Darkness


The weather and the changing of the seasons affects mood.  Snow is beautiful; the price of that beauty is shorter days.  Some people feel the need to go to bed when the sun goes down. For those same people, shorter days equal less energy.

The writers of songs have always used the weather to evoke special feelings. A couple of great weather related songs are Four Seasons in One Day by Crowded House and Sunshine on My Shoulders by John Denver . It’s sad to feel drug out and drug down. Many refer to those feelings and the drabness of the short, dark days as “The Winter Blues”.  The clinical name is Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD– the feelings that accompany this disorder are extreme bouts of seasonal depression or The Blues. Depression is more than feeling sad or feeling grief. It is more than feeling blue periodically.  It’s when these feelings hang around for long periods of time that the blues become clinical depression. It’s when a lack of external reasons cause the changing of moods.

Symptoms of SAD

SAD symptoms tend to be mild to moderate in severity. Patients may experience daytime fatigue and lethargy, excessive sleep, weight gain and a strong desire for sugary or starchy foods. Patients who have summertime depression – also known as “reverse SAD” – may experience anxiety, decreased appetite, insomnia, irritability and weight loss.

People who feel depressed for any length of time or who feel that life has gradually become less pleasurable should see a physician. Before diagnosing SAD, the physician will rule out other medical conditions that cause similar symptoms.

Treatment of SAD


English: A 30 kHz bright light therapy lamp (I...

Light therapy is the chief treatment for SAD. In this therapy, patients sit before bright, fluorescent bulbs that are designed to concentrate the light on the lower half of the retina, an area of the eye that has photoreceptors involved in antidepressant response. Sessions typically last for 30 minutes or longer and are extremely effective for most patients.

Antidepressants and psychotherapy are also used to treat SAD. Patients with mild forms of SAD may benefit from preventative measures such as taking an hour-long walk in bright winter sunlight, increasing the amount of light that enters the home, exercising regularly and performing other stress-reduction techniques.

Prevention Methods for SAD

People who have mild symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) may find that certain actions can help ward off depression. Studies have found that people who take an hour-long walk in bright winter sunlight can significantly reduce their risk of SAD.English: this images shows the use of light bo...Patients can also try to boost the amount of light that enters their homes through opening blinds and adding skylights to their homes. Regular exercise and other stress-reduction techniques can help patients to feel more relaxed, making them less vulnerable to SAD.

Trips to sunny, warm-weather locales during winter – or to cool-weather places for those with reverse SAD – can help improve SAD symptoms.

In addition, the Food and Drug Administration recently approved the first medication (bupropion HCI extended-release tablets) for the prevention of depressive episodes in patients with SAD.

To find out more on this subject connect to Your Total Health.

***Are you SAD? Do you fight other depressions?***


Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. 


Stamp Out Murder”.


The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey BackThe JourneyBack 3

Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology

 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

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21 thoughts on “Winter Blues Are SAD by Cher’ley

  1. I do have a hard time with the darkness in the winter–or a long series of gray days in other seasons. I’ve thought about getting one of those lights, but I haven’t. I have found that taking Vitamin D every day helps–which I guess makes sense, given that our body uses sunlight to make it. Thanks for the information!


  2. Thanks for the informative post. I used to become depressed in September, when the light changed to a golden autumn glow. I used a light for a while, but when the sudden depression began to come on in mid-August, it was obvious that something else was going on. I still don’t know why the rapid change took place–some years I could feel the exact moment it started–but it doesn’t happen any more. I’m very grateful.


    1. Kathy , I’m so glad it doesn’t happen to you anymore. Mine’s not so bad this year, but it’s just now starting to get darker earlier, so I’m sure I will have some kind of affect. Thanks for the comments. Cher’ley


  3. Very informative and useful post, Cherley. I really don’t remember ever having symptoms of this disorder, although as an undiagnosed Bipolar person, it may have been there and I just didn’t notice Now that I’m on medication for the Bipolar it helps tremendously. My biggest problem has always been with the time change. I couldn’t get my inner clock working to change to the different time and I would spend at least a month, complaining, irritable, lethargic and just plain feeling terrible. This year, since I’m taking the meds the time change came and went and I sailed right through with no problem. I didn’t even have any issues at all. I’m trying to get out a lot and we do open all the blinds every morning to take advantage of the beautiful winter daylight here in Wisconsin, and my doctor prescribed Vitamin D. So for me, no SAD – I’m glad!


  4. Our days are pretty short in winter being on the 57the parallel north latitude, but it’s more the grey days that bother me than the early dark and short days. I was thinking about this just a few days ago, Cher’ley!


  5. Good Article Cherley. I have a couple relative’s with depression and the SAD lights do help quite a bit, along with anti-depressants. I remember in the movie “Paint Your Wagon” how Lee Marvin’s character referred to his depressive episodes as “The melancholy.” I think it’s more common than one might think.


  6. Reading this post about SAD has made me sad. Sorry, couldn’t resist. Still, what you say is a fact. Back in early ’90s, someone close I know took her life just before Christmas. For me, I am still trying to adjust to the time change. It’s basically dark here in Vegas by 4:45 p.m. And I am feeling ready for bed by 9 p.m.


  7. So many of us spend our time indoors with our work, coupled with shorter daylight hours. I can understand the depression and sadness. A very good post. Unfortunately my computer didn’t post my original this am, so I’m reposting. *Smile* Doris


    1. Mike, sorry about the person who took their life. Two years ago, a closevfriend of mine shot himself. He’d been to our house a few days before and seemed normal.

      When it gets dark, I’m like the chickens, I’m ready to roost. Cher’ley


  8. I really enjoyed your post, Cher’ley, and I can completely relate! I think that’s one reason I desire to be in Arizona during the winter. I love the sunshine and the shorter days, the snow, wind, cold, and clouds really affect me. Like Stephanie, I’ve considered getting one of those lights but haven’t — maybe that will be a Christmas gift to me this year! I, too, take Vitamin D but it doesn’t seem to have helped me — maybe taking more might. Thanks for an important post!


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