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Feeling Blue ... Or SAD?

Cloudy, cold days can make people feel moody. But if depression hangs on through the winter, they may have seasonal affective disorder.

SAD is defined as a mood disorder or form of depression that occurs during a season, typically beginning in late fall or early winter and ending in the spring.

Like other mood disorders, SAD interferes with the ability to function. SAD can cause someone to withdraw socially and can interfere with productivity at work and chores at home, says Dr. Ellen Kochman, an internist with Sherman Group Practice in Bartlett.

Look for the signs
Not everyone has the same symptoms. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, SAD symptoms can include:
• Sadness, anxiousness or an empty feeling
• Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
• Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
• Irritability or restlessness
• Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that used to be enjoyed
• Fatigue or decreased energy
• Difficulty concentrating, remembering details or making decisions
• Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
• Weight changes
•Thoughts of death or suicide  

To read the full story, pick up the latest issue of Kane County Magazine.