Something about this month has made so many of us want to curl up in our beds and stay there. 

The gray skies, the pouring rain, the freezing temperatures - there hasn’t even been much snow to complain about! All of it makes some of us in Buffalo feel, well, blah. 

This comes with the territory with winter in Western New York, of course. But for some reason, it seems to have hit us harder than most this month. Even those of us who usually have heaps of energy have just wanted to curl up in a ball and take a nap. What gives?

Woman tired at desk

You could be starting to experience symptoms of something that affects thousands of Buffalo residents this time of year - seasonal affective disorder. 

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder, commonly abbreviated as SAD (ironic, we know), is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons.”

Basically, day after day of these gray skies in Western New York can wreak havoc on our brains and bodies in ways that make us not feel like ourselves. Some examples include:

  • Lack of sunlight can lead to a drop in our serotonin levels (the chemical in our brain that affects our mood). 
  • The sun produces Vitamin D in our system, which also helps to boost serotonin in our system. No sun = lower Vitamin D levels = feeling bummed out. 
  • The reduced sun can also disrupt our biological clock, making it harder to wake up in the morning than usual. 
Seasonal Affective Disorder

Ahh, so that explains why so many of us have wanted to take a nap in the middle of the day this month. But SAD can also bring about more severe symptoms besides feeling exhausted and lazy. 

Other Symptoms of SAD

Besides just feeling increasingly tired and sleepy, Western New York residents could experience other symptoms like:

  • Loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Social withdrawal 
  • Feeling anxious and irritable
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Loss of ability to focus

SAD is more than just the “winter blues.” If left untreated, these symptoms could lead to serious consequences.

How To Treat SAD In Western New York

First and foremost, if you think you’re experiencing any symptoms of SAD, you need to talk to your doctor ASAP. They may recommend treatments such as:

  • Light exposure therapy
  • Increased physical activity
  • Medication

Winter in Buffalo can be an amazing time, but if these gray days have been starting to bum you out, take your symptoms seriously and talk to your doctor. 

10 Nasty Illnesses You'll See This Winter Across New York

These illnesses will be at their peak this winter all across New York.

Gallery Credit: Canva

9 Gross Body Changes Caused By Winter In New York State

Have you noticed that when winter arrives here in New York State, it also brings some annoying (and disgusting) changes to your body? Here are some of the grossest.

Gallery Credit: Megan Carter/Canva

More From 106.5 WYRK