January 14, 2009 (Flushing, NY)– The winter season is a joyous time of year for many, but the cause of increased stress levels and depression for others. During the winter months, when the days are shorter and then nights are longer, many people tend to suffer from ÛÏwinter blues,” a mild case of depression.
While itÛªs common to feel depressed, fatigued, and lethargic during the winter months, persons who also develop sleep problems, are more anxious, have difficulty concentrating, and/or experience appetite changes, such as cravings for carbohydrates, may be suffering from a severe form of seasonal depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
ÛÏSAD is a common psychological condition that occurs when the season changes from summer to fall and winter, and sometimes the reverse,” explained Dr. Daniel Chen, Director at Flushing HospitalÛªs Mental Health Clinic. ÛÏIt is characterized by mild symptoms of depression that gradually become more severe, ultimately impairing a personÛªs daily life.”
Those most affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder are young women, however, men do suffer more severe symptoms. Also, research suggests that individuals who live in northern regions have a higher risk for developing the disorder. What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder remains unclear, however, it may have to do with sunlight. There is less sunlight in the fall and winter months, making light therapy for 30 minutes a day one of the most recommended types of treatment. Other treatments require that individuals take medicine, change their diet, learn about stress management, or travel to a sunny climate during the cold months. If you or someone you know may be suffering from winter depression, it is important to receive an accurate diagnosis of the symptoms to most effectively treat the condition. To schedule an appointment with Flushing HospitalÛªs Mental Health Clinic, contact 718-670-5562.
Flushing Hospital Medical Center serves a community of over 1.9 million residents throughout Queens. This 293-bed facility is an accredited community teaching hospital that has over 40 general and specialty clinics, including Internal and Pediatric Medicine, Ophthalmology, Podiatry, OB/GYN, Dentistry, and Mental Health. The Department of Psychiatry provides comprehensive services to individuals with psychiatric disorders in the Queens community. It boasts an Inpatient Psychiatry Unit, a Mental Health Clinic, a Chemical Dependence Unit, and an Outpatient Chemical Dependence Clinic. Consultation-Liaison Service is also provided to all inpatient units. The department is staffed with licensed professionals including Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists, Clinical Social Workers, Psychiatric Nurses, and Creative Arts Therapists, who provide compassionate care and treatment. For additional information, please contact Public Affairs at718-670-8930.