The winter is prime time for Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) to take hold of people's moods.
S.A.D. impacts those who live in areas that receive less daylight during the winter season. Medical officials say the disorder leads to feelings of depression. The reduction of sunlight causes a drop in serotonin, a brain chemical that affects the mood.
The change in seasons can alter the balance of the natural hormone melatonin, which impacts sleep patters and mood. However, according to Laura Moski, a behavioral therapist at SwedishAmerican Hospital, there are ways to treat it.
"It's really important to engage in a lot of physical exercise," she says. "It's important to kind of plan your activities primarily for the fall and winter months if you know this is something you have difficulty with, because staying as active as possible is important."
S.A.D. is likely to occur among those who have family members prone to clinical depression or bipolar disorder.