Beating seasonal affective disorder
HELENA – Sunday November 3rd we will gain an extra hour of sleep as we fall back as daylight-saving time ends but dealing with the time change can take a toll on some of us.  

With the clocks going back one hour, we will also be losing some vitamin D and that can have a big impact on our health.  

Brittany Kizer, a Behavioral Health Professional and Social Worker, at St. Peter’s Health says seasonal affective disorder generally begins and ends at the same time every year, during the fall winter months. She says it is also important to recognize that its challenging to keep our moods and motivation consistent throughout the winter.  

"One of the interesting things, and what is much more common is just the winter blues,” says Kizer. “And that's something we can all experience whether or not it is depression." 

Kizer says if you notice you are starting to have low energy, excessive sleepiness, overeating, weight gain, craving carbohydrates, and social withdrawal, she says it is important to seek out your health care provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.  

Kizer also says this is something we can all experience whether or not it is depression. A lot of us tend to experience changes in our bodies during the winter months. 

"Knowing that this is something that is really just a human experience especially with us living so far north,” says Kizer. “Another study found that, while only 2-6 percent of people who live in Canada experience seasonal depression, about 15 percent experience just what we call the winter blues." 

Kizer says there are four researched treatment approaches and it's important to work with your healthcare team to determine what’s right for you. They are a combination of antidepressant medications, light therapy, vitamin D, and counseling to help beat your seasonal depression.  

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