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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Learn how to cope up with winter sadness

<p>​Do you find yourself more down in the winters? You may be suffering from what is called “Seasonal Affective Disorder&quot;, a form of seasonal depression.
</p><p><strong>What are the Causes?</strong></p><p>The exact cause of SAD is still unknown, but some are listed below:</p><ul><li>Brain chemical imbalance</li><li>Vitamin D deficiency
</li><li>Melatonin boost
</li><li>Depressive or negative thoughts
</li><li>Less sunlight in the winter leads to the brain making less serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mood
</li></ul><p><strong>Who is at risk?</strong></p><p>SAD is more common in younger people and women. You&#39;re also at higher risk if you:</p><ul style="list-style-type: disc;"><li>Have another mood disorder, such as major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder.</li><li>Have relatives with other mental health conditions, such as depression or schizophrenia.</li><li>Live at high latitudes or cloudy regions.</li><li>Have anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), eating disorder or panic disorder.</li></ul><p><strong>What are the symptoms?</strong></p><ul><li>Feeling sad, cranky, or hopeless</li><li>Trouble concentrating</li><li>Increased desire to be alone</li><li>Less energy</li><li>Fatigue</li><li>Greater appetite</li><li>Thoughts of suicide</li><li>Weight gain​
</li></ul><p><strong>How to cope with it?</strong></p><ul><li>Seek professional help from a psychiatrist or a psychologist.</li><li>Spend time outside every day, even if it&#39;s cloudy. Daylight can help you feel better.</li><li>Eat a well-balanced diet.</li><li>Try to get 30 minutes of exercise at least three times a week.</li><li>See your friends, stay involved with your social circle and regular activities to keep your mind engaged. </li><li>Go for vacations.</li><li>Try meditating or taking music or art therapy.</li><li>Get adequate sleep.</li><li>Practice stress management.
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