By Dr. Deanna Lites

ROYAL OAK (WWJ) — If you’re feeling the winter blues, you’re not alone. For some people, this time of year can actually lead to depression.

It’s called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, a type of depression that can begin in the fall and continue through the winter. No one is sure of the exact cause, but one theory is that the decreased sunlight can affect your body’s internal clock which regulates sleep, mood and hormones.

Another possibility is that we tend to socialize less in the winter which can leave us feeling blue. The good news is that Beaumont Hospital psychiatrist Howard Belkin says help is available.

“It responds treatment with psychotherapy, antidepressants and in my experience the use of high intensity special light treatment also seems to help seasonal affective disorder.”

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