Winter Blues Could Be Something More Serious - NBC Chicago

Winter Blues Could Be Something More Serious



    Got a case of the winter blues? NBC 5's Regina Waldroup shows you why it could be something more than that. (Published Friday, Jan. 31, 2014)

    This long, harsh and relentless winter is giving a lot of people a case of the winter blues.

    "It's like very week, and it's snowing again this weekend and I'm off on weekends," said Courtney Smith, who's tired of the constant cold and snow.

    Even those who generally like winter have had enough.

    "I just don't want to do anything outdoors. I'm hibernating," Sidar Sahin said.

    Dr. Robert Shulman, associate chair of psychiatry at Rush University Medical Center, says a bout of the winter blues is normal, but if it's causing problems in your life, it may actually be seasonal affective disorder, also know as SAD.

    "If you're sleeping 14 hours a day, not being able to get put of bed, can't go to work," Shulman said.

    Shulman says some people with SAD may not even know they have it.

    "It's sort of a flat, empty kind of sensation. They feel depleted," Shulman said.

    Kathy Robinson says her loved ones are already sick, and not being able to leave the house in weeks has made it worse.

    "My sister is kinda down and my mom is also," Robinson said. "They just want to go out and get some fresh air and they can't right now."

    Sam Robinson runs a company that provides in-home care to seniors. He says many of his workers try to pay extra attention to those battling the doldrums.

    "Sometimes they may turn on music and dance with them," Robinson said.

    Doctors say treatment for symptoms of SAD includes exercising regularly, limiting alcohol consumption and adding vitamin D3 supplements to your diet.