How to Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder, From Healthcare Professionals

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Every year, around the chilly, grey days of February, Erin Michalak doesn’t feel quite herself. “My mood and energy levels are lower, I’m more fatigued, more easily overwhelmed, less productive and anxious about things I would normally take in stride,” says the UBC psychiatry professor, who specializes in mood and anxiety disorders.

Michalak says the changes are due to mild seasonal affective disorder, also known as “the winter blues.” While the “winter blues” is typically used to describe mood shifts that are not severe enough to be diagnosed as depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of clinical depression that follows a seasonal pattern. With the added stressors of the pandemic, Michalak notes that Canadians need to be extra vigilant about SAD this year.

“Personally, I know that my resiliency is down and what might be a mild…

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