Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blue Monday: Brutal cold, short days, post-holiday letdown raise risk of depression

Date:
January 3, 2014
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
The first Monday after the holidays can be a depressing time for people coping with post-holiday letdown or depression triggered by short days called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). This year, First Monday will be especially blue, due to the added stress of the brutal cold in many parts of the country.

The first Monday after the holidays can be a depressing time for people coping with a post-holiday letdown and a type of depression triggered by short days called seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

And this year, First Monday will be especially blue, due to the added stress of the brutal cold in the forecast, said Loyola University Medical Center psychiatrist Dr. Angelos Halaris, who specializes in treating depression.

"All these factors will have a cumulative effect," Halaris said. "We could see an uptick in depression this coming week and for the rest of the month."

For many people, the holidays are a time of too much eating and drinking, combined with family stresses and relationship issues. They begin the new year mentally and physically exhausted.

For people affected by seasonal affective disorder, energy and mood take a nosedive during the short days of winter. "SAD is characterized by depression, exhaustion and lack of interest in people and regular activities," Halaris said. "It interferes with a person's outlook on life and ability to function properly."

Environmental stresses, such as brutally cold weather, can help trigger depression in people who already are vulnerable due to SAD, post-holiday blues or other factors, Halaris said.

SAD is thought to be related to a chemical imbalance in the brain, brought on by lack of light due to winter's shorter days and typically overcast skies. "With less exposure to light in the winter months, many people become depressed," Halaris said. "Those susceptible to SAD are affected even more so."

Halaris said that bright light affects brain chemistry in a helpful way and acts as an antidepressant. If you can stand the cold, get outside during the day, even if it is overcast. At home, open the drapes and blinds to let in natural light.

SAD can be effectively treated with light therapy, antidepressant medication and/or psychotherapy, Halaris said. The latest treatment is a headband containing mounted lights that delivers light to your retina whether you are inside or outdoors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Blue Monday: Brutal cold, short days, post-holiday letdown raise risk of depression." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 January 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103205234.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2014, January 3). Blue Monday: Brutal cold, short days, post-holiday letdown raise risk of depression. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103205234.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Blue Monday: Brutal cold, short days, post-holiday letdown raise risk of depression." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140103205234.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

'Fat Shaming' Might Actually Cause Weight Gain

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) A study for University College London suggests obese people who are discriminated against gain more weight than those who are not. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins