14 Signs and Symptoms You’re Suffering From Winter Blues from 14 Signs and Symptoms You’re Suffering From Winter Blues

14 Signs and Symptoms You’re Suffering From Winter Blues

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14 Signs and Symptoms You’re Suffering From Winter Blues

Shorter days, freezing temperatures, cloudy skies, and lack of sunlight are all associated with the winter months. Those who don’t embrace the winter season with the same eagerness as snow sport enthusiasts may find themselves suffering from the winter blues, also known as winter depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

*Related: 16 Things You Didn’t Know About Depression… But Should

SAD is estimated to affect approximately 10 million Americans. Beginning in the fall and continuing into the winter months, symptoms include difficulty waking up, craving carbohydrates, and weight gain. The symptoms become worse as the hours of daylight become shorter.

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Lack of Energy

If you’re finding it harder to roll out of bed in the morning and you’re going about your days feeling tired and sluggish, this may be a sign that you are suffering from winter blues. Do your best to avoid going into hibernation mode; it’s important to step outside into the sun. Lack of sunlight causes your brain to produce more melatonin, which makes you tired.

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Change in Appetite

Individuals suffering from winter blues usually experience changes in their appetite. They may begin to crave more starchy and sugary foods such as breads, pasta, and sweets. Unhealthy calories and lack of essential nutrients may worsen the blues and cause you to become irritable and further depressed.

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Mood Changes

Mild and severe mood changes that are associated with the winter blues commonly occur during the winter months. You may find yourself easily shifting from a happy state of mind to an angry one. Sufferers often feel irritable, stressed, hopeless, and anxious.

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Difficulty Concentrating

Inability to focus is a common symptom of winter depression. It may result in attention problems and impairments in thought processing speed. Some of the best ways to improve your concentration include prioritizing your tasks, limiting distractions, meditating, and exercising.

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Depression

Winter blues are also called winter depression. Individuals suffering from this illness are likely to experience similar symptoms of depression — helplessness, sadness, worthlessness, anxiety, restlessness and irritability, to name a few.

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Craving Carbs

The winter weather has the tendency to trigger carb cravings. This could be due to the unconscious effort to boost their mood, webmd.com explains. One study concluded that carb-cravers actually reported feeling less depressed after eating high-carb snack foods, while non-carb-cravers said they felt tired after eating them.

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Weight Gain

The winter blues cause people to feel down about themselves, ultimately leading to weight gain because they see food as a sense of comfort.  According to research, food actually impacts the same circuitry of the brain as drugs do. People use food medicinally to make themselves feel better.

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Decreased Activity Level

You’re down, depressed, lack motivation, and the cold just makes you want curl up in a blanket and hibernate in your home. It’s important to get some physical activity in every day, even if that means staying home and putting on a workout video. Exercise helps your body release endorphins, which are linked to your brain and help reduce your awareness of pain by triggering positive feelings in your mind and body.

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Oversleeping

If you have to fight yourself to get out of bed in the morning, you may be suffering from the winter blues. Oversleeping can actually harm you; if you average more than eight hours of sleep per night, you should definitely consider seeing a doctor. Yes, this is probably just a symptom of the winter blues, but you may also be suffering from a medical condition that you are unaware of.

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Physical Pain/Discomfort

Headaches, muscle aches, and back pain are all physical symptoms of winter depression. Individuals who rarely get headaches may begin to experience them, while those who frequently suffer from migraine headaches will notice them getting worse. You may also experience digestive problems — nausea, constipation, and, in worse cases, ulcers and colitis may occur.

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Changes in Social Behavior

Social problems such as withdrawal socially, the desire to avoid social contact, and no longer enjoying the things that used to be fun are all essential signs of the winter blues.

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Increased Anxiety

Seasonal Affective Disorder may lead to Seasonal Anxiety Disorder. Shift in moods, lack of sleep, holiday stress, and shortage of sunlight all play a role. Some key things that make anxiety worse include spending time around negative people, being alone, and drinking caffeine and alcohol.

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Loss of Sex Drive

The winter blues result in lack of motivation, fatigue, stress, and self-esteem issues; all of which have the ability to cause people to feel less sexual, resulting in a reduced sex drive.

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Frequent Colds

The winter blues may have a negative impact on your immune system. This type of depression makes you more susceptible to the common cold and makes it harder to get over a sickness because your body has more trouble fighting off infections.

14 Signs and Symptoms You’re Suffering From Winter Blues