Winter 2015

Creating a Promising Future for the Individuals and Families We Serve.
WINTER BLAHS:  Annoying Or Serious?

By Bruce D. Williams, M.Div., LMHC, LMSW hand-holding-skaters.jpg
Horizons Therapist

It may be both, depending upon the frequency and severity of symptoms, which can include sleeping too much, overeating, loss of energy, difficulty concentrating, and/or social withdrawal (Mayo Clinic). More intense symptoms may be an indication that a person is dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which affects about 20% of Americans (American Psychiatric Association). SAD follows the calendar and becomes more pronounced in North America when daylight savings time ends in early November and then reaches a climax on December 21st -- the day with the least amount of daylight in the year.

Just as symptoms can vary in strength, so, too, can interventions. A reduction in carbohydrates and sugars -- along with a 30-minute walk every other day -- may be enough to lift one's mood while increasing one's energy. Additional interventions include getting outdoors frequently, regular exercise (5-7 times per week), social interaction, and, in cases of full-blown SAD, light box therapy (Dr. Mark Frye, Mayo Clinic). Yet another coping strategy comes from a non-medical resource, Gandhi, who wrote, "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others" (Therese Borchard, PsychCentral).

Should these interventions prove insufficient, one may need to consult a healthcare provider regarding psychotherapy and/or antidepressant medication. Sometimes winter blahs are just the tip of the depression iceberg.

Now, where did I store my snowshoes after last winter?

Featured Therapist
Kristin DeMoss-Schloemer, LMHC, NCC

Kristin DeMoss-Schloemer, LMHC, NCC, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Nationally Certified Counselor, works with people 13 years of age and above. She has been with Horizons for eight years and has experience working with individuals, couples and families that present concerns of depression, anxiety, loss/grief, relationship problems and stress and anger management.  She also has a special interest in the areas of sexuality and LGBTQ issues. 

Kristin has successfully led several STEPPS support groups at Horizons which address emotional management skills.
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