Battling the winter blues

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Story Updated: Jan 23, 2012

LIVING HEALTHY (WKTV) - Some call it the winter blues, but the technical term is Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D.

This time of year is when symptoms are at their highest - in the middle of dreary winter.

S.A.D. is brought on by the lack of sunlight during the winter, and is usually accompanied by fatigue, depression, and social withdrawal.

It is estimated that between 10 and 20 percent of Americans experience at least minor symptoms.

Experts recommend getting outside and experiencing natural light every day, even on cloudy days.

"You can get that light yourself," said Steven Specht, a Professor of Psychology at Utica College. "I would suggest, exercise outside. You get light. We know exercise and being more physically fit is related to better mental health as well. In extreme cases, a doctor may recommend some kind of anti-depressant of some sort."

If you think you are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder and it's interfering with your job and social life, you should talk to your physician.

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