SOURCE: Loyola University Health System, news release, Oct. 20, 2014
FRIDAY, Oct. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- October's shorter, darker days can trigger a type of depression, known as seasonal affective disorder, according to an expert.
People affected by seasonal affective disorder, also called SAD, may feel overly tired, lack motivation and even have trouble getting out of bed. In extreme cases, SAD can lead to suicide, said Dr. Angelos Halaris, a professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Loyola University Chicago Stitch School of Medicine.
"Seasonal affective disorder should not be taken lightly," Halaris said in a hospital news release.
Seasonal affective disorder affects up to 5 percent of the population, Halaris said. It's linked to a reduction in light exposure from shorter days and gray skies, which is thought to cause a chemical imbalance in the brain.
SAD season starts in October and lasts until the middle of April. Until then, there are ways to reduce your risk for the condition, advised Halaris. He said the following strategies might help:
The National Alliance on Mental Illness provides more information on seasonal affective disorder.