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Doctors warn residents about seasonal depression symptoms

Depression is more than just a rough time, and with winter approaching, doctors at Memorial Hospital are talking about the signs associated with winter depression.

“Some patients will come to you and say I just feel down around that time between October, November,” said Dr. Ahmed Elmaadawi, Director of Interventional Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Memorial Hospital.

The seasons are changing and doctors want residents to be aware.

“There's a strong link between sleep, hours of sunshine, light, and changing in the brain chemistry which could lead to depression. It’s important to recognize seasonal depression especially around fall and changing of the weather and time,” said Dr. Elmaadawi.

He says the signs are simple but can easily be confused with something else.

“They usually come to the family physician or primary care provider looking for help with fatigue trouble falling asleep and they probably think maybe it’s hormonal problems or ‘I’m too tired from work’,” said Dr. Elmaadawi.

There’s a really easy way to fend off the winter blues – exercise. 

Exercise always helps. You need to go for at least a walk for 10/15 minutes a day,” said Dr. Elmaadawi.

He says you can try light therapy with a light box that simulates the sun’s rays and that you don’t necessarily need medication.

“You don’t have to have medication for seasonal depression; you may actually, as I said, change your lifestyle, said Dr. Elmaadawi.

Doctors at Memorial Hospital say they are here to help and you can also find more information on their website QualityOfLife.org.

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