Look at this chart that displays relative numbers of SAD and the less serious "winter blues" in Montana versus some of the southern states:
One of the most interesting symptoms, and one that rings especially true for me, is the craving for sweets and starchy foods. Ahh-ha! Now I have an explanation for winter weight gain that really makes sense during the holidays, which are filled with mashed potatoes, yams, and extra servings of dessert.
Some of the symptoms that I immediately recognized in myself:
- A change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods
- Weight gain
- A drop in energy level
- A tendency to oversleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability and anxiety
- Increased sensitivity to social rejection
- Avoidance of social situations and a loss of interest in the activities I usually enjoy
One of the recommended treatments for SAD, as offered by the U.S. Government's National Institute of Health, is to go and spend the dark winter months in a warmer climate, which also has more hours of daylight. OK!
This idea I like. I want to be a Snowbird. (Is that the correct term?) Summers in Montana and winters in Arizona.
Here is a link to Family Doctor .org which has a page on SAD.
And here is a book for SAD Dummies