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Dr. Patrick Carrillo of Confluence Health joined us recently to talk about Seasonal Affective Disorder, or the “winter blues”, and offered some helpful ideas for reducing its affects. If you missed this great program, we would like to share some of the highlights and the video recording. Carrillo is a licensed psychologist and Clinical Director for Outpatient Behavioral Health at Confluence Health, which serves much of North Central Washington.

You can watch the full recording of his program here.

Here are some of the highlights of his program:

Symptoms of S.A.D.

Winter-pattern

  • Oversleeping
  • Overeating, craving foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Social withdrawal

Summer-pattern

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Poor appetite, weight loss
  • Restlessness an agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Episodes of violent behavior
Causes of S.A.D.

Self-Care Strategies

Mental Strategies

  • Acknowledge that you are feeling stressed, anxious, or depressed
  • Focus on the positives (What did I accomplish today? Who did I help?)
  • Practice mindfulness strategies. Focus on now — not yesterday or tomorrow. Volunteer at a food pantry, animal shelter or meal delivery nonprofit.
  • Set priorities. What must get done now?

Physical Strategies

  • Get enough sleep
  • Be active — 30 minutes a day of physical activity
  • Eat as healthy as you can
  • Take a breather. Step back and enjoy the sunshine or the breeze on your face
  • Disconnect from work/the news cycle
  • Take up a new hobby
  • Laugh! Watch a funny movie or TV show

 

Resources

NCW Crisis Line: 1-800-852-2923

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255, 1-800-499-4889 for TTY access

Additional Reading

Seasonal Affective Disorderopens PDF file

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder

American Psychiatric Association information

Mayo Clinic information on diagnosis and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder

 

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