Psychiatrists say 5% of adults experience Seasonal Affective Disorder during winter months
Psychology experts say the short, dark days can trigger a response in some people called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
"It is a type of depression," says Zenobia Lee-Briggs, a licensed counselor in Metuchen. "People really tend to think that it's just like the ‘Winter Blues’ or ‘I’m just feeling blue,’ but it really does have a lot to do with a lack of vitamin D and our exposure to the sunlight."
Some SAD symptoms include increased moodiness, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia, among other things. The disorder typically starts in the fall and ends in early spring.
According to the American Psychiatric Association, 5% of adults experience SAD.
New Brunswick resident Chris said that she notices a difference in her behavior throughout the year.
“When it’s light out, I definitely feel more energized because the day isn’t over yet, and I have things I can do," she said. "But when it’s dark out, I feel like I can just go to sleep.”
Lee-Briggs said that it's important to reach out to a medical professional for help if you experience these symptoms for more than two weeks.