Rainy Weather, Shorter Days Can Cause Seasonal Depression

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. – Rainy weather and shorter days can trigger seasonal depression, doctors said.

The condition, called Seasonal Effective Disorder, affects people throughout the fall and winter months and has a lot to do with the end of Daylight Savings Time, doctors said.

“When you have less sunlight during the dark, you have more melatonin and that makes you sleep,” said Dr. Sunil Bhatia, a psychiatrist at Mary Black Physicians Group in Spartanburg, “so when there’s a sleep-wake cycle impairment, it can cause depression because of disturbance in sleep.”

Dr. Bhatia said treatments range from exercise to medication to phototherapy, a therapy that uses high-luminosity lights to simulate daylight.

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