It's been a cool, wet spring throughout much of eastern Canada. There has has been a lack of sunlight. And while the winter season ended weeks ago, recent conditions have been enough to leave some people feeling blue.
One in six Canadians suffer from seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. It's a mood disorder that affects Canadians at a certain time of year, usually resulting in depressive symptoms.
“The way it manifests in me is I just want to sleep all the time. Eat a lot,” says Ingrid Mraz, a SAD sufferer. “I'm a very social, outgoing person and I just don't care about seeing my friends.”
Karen Liberman is with the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario. She says that the signs of SAD are “very typical to what you might see in any magazine that says 'are you depressed?'”
SAD can be treated with simple things such as exercise and eating a well balanced diet. Some doctors recommend particular vitamins as well.
“Vitamin D is critical and that's really important for improving mood in patients that have already experienced low mood,” says Dr. Jane Goehner from Balance Point Health Centre.
Some heath experts recommend people take 2000 international units a day from late Fall until Late Spring.
Special lamps that imitate daylight have also been known to help people with SAD. Spending time with a pet can also boost your spirits, as they can feel low when you do.
“If you're depressed, and your dog is around you, they're very, very in tune to your feelings and can therefore themselves get depressed,” says veterinarian Karine Eusanio. She suggests taking Fido for a walk, getting some fresh air and, hopefully, some sunshine.
With files from Lyndsay Morrison