HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Dark clouds, relentless rain and gray skies are giving some people the blues. It's called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). 4-to-6 percent of people suffer from it.
”Lack of sun decreases the Vitamin D which gives you energy and remember, we get most of our Vitamin D from the sun,” explains Baylor College of Medicine psychiatrist Dr. Asim Shah. But when the sun seems to be in hiding, Dr. Shah says your circadian rhythm or internal sleep clock gets out of whack, not only decreasing Vitamin D but also serotonin and melatonin levels and possibly increasing feelings of sadness.
How can we fight the rainy day blues?
“Any kind of light will help," adds Dr. Shah. "Brightness will help some.”
”Wearing bright colors and bright shoes and sandals and taking walks in the rain helps me,” explains resident Joan Rodgers.
”Try to find some socialization so you’re not isolated," says Dr. Shah. "Maybe have some friends come over.”
Perhaps we can try looking on the bright side like Curtis, a shopper who FOX 26 News caught up with.
“Rain makes the grass grow," says Curtis with a smile. "We've got to drink something right? We need rain. It's unfortunate that people are getting washed out and lives are in danger. Are we going to be able to control the rain? Not really. So we just have to live with." However that doesn't always work if you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder.
“If the symptoms are mild, if they're not causing functional impairment you're able to go to work, able to go to school, can do work at home, then you can wait a few weeks.” Dr. Shah also says if you aren't able to function, you likely need to schedule an appointment with a professional. He says that families who have been flooded out may also need medical help, including children, because you may suffer post-traumatic stress disorder.