A sunny winter getaway to Las Vegas and subsequent return to Toronto is what finally made the penny drop for Emmanuel Lopez.
The bouts of low mood he’d been grappling with for years always seemed to come on as the days began growing shorter in the fall, lingering all winter long.
An estimated three per cent of Canadians live with seasonal affective disorder, a form of depression that typically occurs during the dark winter months. And another 15 per cent experience a similar seasonal pattern of low mood and other symptoms to a milder degree.
Recognize yourself, or someone you love? There are a number of things you can do that may help ease SAD symptoms, particularly if you start as soon as daylight hours begin to diminish.
My heartfelt thanks go out to the interviewees who generously shared their time, stories, and expertise:
- Dr. Adam Abba-Aji, an associate clinical professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Alberta, and director of the mood and anxiety disorder program at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton.
- Dr. Raymond Lam, a professor in the mood and anxiety disorders program in the University of British Columbia’s department of psychiatry, and director of the Mood Disorders Centre at Vancouver Coastal Health’s Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health.
- Dr. Robert Levitan, a senior scientist with the Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute at Toronto’s Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.
- Emmanuel Lopez, aka @motivatorman, an illustrator, blogger and motivational speaker in Toronto.
- Dr. Sherri Melrose, PhD, an associate professor at Athabasca University’s Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, in Athabasca, Alta.