Morning Chills: Seasonal Affective Disorder In The Winter Months

Winter snow in forest
Image credit: photo by John Westrock on Unsplash.

Has all that snowy weather gotten you down? This winter has been a snowy one all over the country, but particularly on the East Coast. Here in Nassau County, where Nassau Guidance & Counseling is located, we received 34 inches of snow in January alone. It’s enough to make anyone want pull the covers over their head and go back to bed.

Winter is especially hard for those suffering from a certain kind of depression known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD,) sometimes known as the “winter blues.”

Those living with SAD begin to feel its onset in the beginning of fall and winter, including:

  • Feelings of lethargy.
  • Loss of interest.
  • Increased sleep.
  • Social withdrawal, and ...
  • General unhappiness begin to creep in with the winter chill.
  • Activities that once brought joy now feel empty.

The person’s experience of the world becomes as dreary and bleak as the weather outside. For some, these difficult feelings are not limited to winter months; they reappear in conjunction with overcast or rainy days.

Although the cause of SAD is still unknown, research points to the shorter, darker days of winter as a possible culprit. Groups such as the National Mental Health Alliance suggest spending more time in sunlight to help alleviate symptoms. As little as an hour of winter sunlight a day is thought to offset the severity of the winter blues.


For those who suffer from SAD, there is hope. An experienced psychotherapist can help you address your experience, and help develop strategies for coping in the colder months. For more information, contact us at (516) 221-9494. One of our client care consultants will assess your needs and help get you started on a path to recovery.

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