Cold, wet weather can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder for so - KPTV - FOX 12

Cold, wet weather can lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder for some Portlanders

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It has been a cold, wet start to March, and without a dry day in the forecast, many people might be feeling a little blue.

Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, can lead to depression for some people who struggle with the Pacific Northwest's seemingly never-ending gray skies.

FOX 12 spoke with a psychologist resident on Monday who says if you're struggling with seasonal depression, don't be afraid to ask for help.

"There’s a variety of things we can do. Usually we want to check both in the environment of what they’re doing as far as their lifestyle, their relationships, their job, their habits, as well as things we can rule out as far as things that might be going on biologically too," said Dr. Nathan Engle.

Dr. Engle says a few people come into his clinic every week struggling with this, and they'll look at things like exercise and social habits but also hormone and vitamin levels.

One of the things Dr. Engle recommends is light therapy.

The owner of Sunlan Lighting on North Mississippi says people need sunshine, and when they can't get it from Mother Nature, they can turn to specialized lamps and light bulbs, designed to mimic that bright yellow of morning sunshine.

"That particular shade of yellow that we get in the morning changes us chemically inside, making our brains wanting to become active, our bodies wanting to become active and it feels great. When we have an overcast day it's just harder to get that feeling," said Kay Newell, owner of Sunlan Lighting.

Newell recommends halogen lights, and says look on the box for something called Color Rendering Index or CRI. That will tell you how close a bulb comes to natural sunlight.

Newell says you want to look for something that's at least 90 percent.

There's no one fix for everyone, but these are some good tips to get people started.

And don't forget, spring officially starts in two week.

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