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Health & Science
With some questionable health advice being posted by your friends on Facebook, politicians arguing about the state of the American healthcare system and a new medical study being summarized in just a sentence or two on TV---that seems to contradict the study you heard summarized yesterday---it can be overwhelming to navigate the ever changing landscape of health news.Every Thursday at 5:42 a.m., 7:42 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Dr. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs provides health information you can trust. With trustworthy sources, she explores the fact and fiction surrounding various medical conditions and treatments, makes you aware of upcoming screenings, gives you prevention strategies and more…all to your health.Local support for To Your Health comes from Fresh Healthy Cafe in Cape Girardeau -- located inside St. Francis Medical Center. Online ordering is at freshsaintfrancis.com

To Your Health: Winter Blues

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Did you go to a New Year’s Eve Party? Can you believe that happened THIS MONTH?

The month of January can tend to drag on. The holiday fun is over. It’s cold, there’s less daylight and the landscape is bleak. But, how can you tell the difference between “the winter blues” and something more serious? Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Onset, previously known as Season al Affective Disorder, is listed as a subtype of depression within the DSM-V, the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.  Johnna Medina of PsychCentral explains, “The essential feature is the onset and remission of major depressive episodes at characteristic times of the year.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of winter-onset depressive episodes include:
Irritability
Low energy
Hypersensitivity to rejection
Oversleeping
Craving for foods high in carbohydrates
Weight gain

These season-specific symptoms can be accompanied by those associated with a major depressive episode, including:
Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
Having difficulty concentrating
Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
While it’s true that symptoms resolve themselves after a few months, that is still a long time to suffer.

Talk to your healthcare provider, who may prescribe light therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy or medication.

Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs is the Director of Health Communication at Southeast Missouri State University.

Websites:
https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/issue/jan2013/feature1
http://psychcentral.com/disorders/depressive-disorder-with-seasonal-onset/
http://www.aafp.org/afp/1998/0315/p1340.html
http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/basics/definition/con-20021047

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