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Winter shift causing mood shifts

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EAST GRAND FORKS, MN (WDAZ-TV) -- This shortage of sunlight will often affect people's mood and for some -- it will cause seasonal depression.

WDAZ's Danielle Saitta tells us how you can combat signs of depression during the cold and dark months ahead.

Sunlight is an essential. It gives us life, light and even affects our moods.

Seasonal Affective Disorder also known as Seasonal Depression is a mood disorder that is related to the time change that occurs during the winter season when the days become shorter.

"Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common form of depression, it looks exactly like regular depression, it just happens to occur seasonally. In our area, our winter season starts about in october and probably goes until april," says Dr. Mark Berntson.

Dr. Mark Berntson from Sanford Health in East Grand Forks, believes that even though the sun will now set early, it's still possible and important that folks make an effort to combat their symptoms during this season.

"The things that are helpful are sunlight, getting out on their lunch hour, get some sunlight even if you have it in the morning or the evening. Getting out at noon for a short walk is helpful, keeping fit with regular exercise is helpful, not overeating not over drinking, getting enough sleep at night, if none of those work there are antidepressants,” says Berntson.  

Light therapy for thirty minutes a day is also said to help with seasonal depression.

You can buy the lamps at your local hardware store.