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Local counselor shares insight on seasonal affective disorder

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — You may have noticed a mood boost with the weather getting warmer and the days getting longer. In some cases, seasonal affective disorder is wearing off.

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, occurs in patterns during the winter months and usually disappears in the spring, according to a local counselor. Dale Pickett, who co-founded Rocktown Counseling, says the disorder mimics depression.

With stay-at-home orders remain in effect in some areas, Pickett says the order can add to SAD.

“Though I wouldn’t be able to say whether or not we necessarily can see an increase in seasonal depression specifically because we’re still within that wintertime period, it is definitely fair to say that the risk associated goes higher as your indoor time increases, and perhaps your vitamin D levels decrease,” Pickett said.

Pickett says states like Alaska have seen the disorder up by 9 percent, while warmer states like Florida only see 1 percent. For those experiencing it, he has some tips to help.

“The most common methods used for addressing seasonal affective disorder tend to be SSRI treatment, light therapy, vitamin D supplementation, and counseling,” Pickett said.

Pickett says the disorder is more prevalent in women than in men.

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