Millions estimated to suffer from "SAD" this winter

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Even if you love the cold and outdoor winter sports, you've got to admit this has been a tough season. Not only is it brisk outside, but shorter days and longer nights can bring-on the blues.

It's estimated at least 12 million Americans suffer from a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD.

Many patients claim they just can't function. That's because the brain goes through a chemical imbalance due to a lack of sunlight, which can lead to a number of symptoms: fatigue, oversleeping, difficulty concentrating, and craving foods high in carbohydrates.

So how can SAD be treated?

You can exercise more and modify your diet. If you have a severe case, you might benefit from specially-designed light boxes, too. Laughter and togetherness can be great therapy for the wintertime blues, too.

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