Is the ‘winter blues’ a real thing? When to know if you need help
The ‘winter blues’ may not be a recognised clinical diagnosis, but it is a very real phenomenon that can be associated with serious mental health issues.
It’s common to feel a shift in mood during the colder, darker days of winter, and the “winter blues” is recognised as a phenomenon that affects some Australians.
It can be as simple as feeling tired and gloomy, but if the fatigue and pessimism occur over a significant period every winter and interfere with daily functioning it may develop into a clinical condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Beyond Blue Lead Clinical Adviser Dr Grant Blashki says SAD is a recurring condition associated with less natural sunlight and includes a range of symptoms.
“People may experience a lack of energy and find it tough to get up in the morning,” he says. “With SAD, people can feel very fatigued and often crave carbs and overeat. Often, they lose interest in normal activities.
"Some people are really affected by the seasonal change, and it’s important to say it’s not a trivial problem — in my clinic I see that people can feel quite knocked about by it.”