Title: Seasonal Affective Disorder Affects Pacific Northwest, Including Cloudy Seattle
Subtitle: Residents of the Pacific Northwest, particularly Seattle, are increasingly affected by seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of seasonal depression that coincides with the darker, shorter days of fall and winter.
Seattle, known for its notoriously cloudy weather, experiences cloud cover on approximately two-thirds of days, making it the cloudiest city in the continental United States. Unsurprisingly, doctors believe that SAD is more common among Seattle inhabitants than most people realize.
In fact, approximately 5% of adults in the US suffer from SAD during cloudy days, which usually lasts around 40% of the year. Symptoms of this disorder can manifest in a spectrum of ways, ranging from severe depression and suicidal thoughts to milder symptoms such as fatigue, loss of interest in activities, or changes in appetite.
To combat the effects of SAD, individuals are advised to seek as much light as possible, whether from natural or artificial sources. Although sunlight may be limited during cloudy days, artificial lighting, such as UV lights, can be helpful in providing additional light exposure.
In addition to light therapy, staying physically active through regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet have proven to be vital in managing SAD’s symptoms. Medical professionals suggest individuals concerned about SAD during gloomy months should seek a professional assessment and consult with a primary care doctor.
It is crucial to address any severe depression or suicidal thoughts immediately. In such cases, immediate medical attention is necessary, and contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) is highly recommended.
As the gloomy months persist, it’s important for Pacific Northwest residents, particularly those in Seattle, to be aware of the prevalence of SAD and to take proactive measures to mitigate its impact. By seeking ways to increase exposure to light, maintaining an active lifestyle, and seeking professional help when necessary, individuals can better manage this seasonal depression and maintain their overall well-being.