Change in season can change your emotions

Shorter, darker days can trigger feelings of melancholy.
Photo by: Branden Liezert Shorter, darker days can trigger feelings of melancholy. Photo by: Branden Liezert

Branden Liezert


When frost in the morning gets someone down, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) might be the reason.

As winter approaches the sun starts to rise later and set earlier. Up to three per cent of Canadians suffer from SAD, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association.

According to CMHA, one particular treatment to combat symptoms from SAD is to stare into lights that contain a high volume of lux – a measurement of how much light goes into the eyes. Products such as lamps and alarm clocks combat the condition.

Alda Henriques, marketing executive for the Smith’s Pharmacy in North York, said that light therapy has proven to be effective for SAD and is the most popular mode of treatment at their pharmacy.

“We do have some customers that have given great feedback,” said Henriques.

Ali Chahrour, 19, second-year psychology student at University of Guelph-Humber is familiar with the depressive symptoms of SAD. He has studied SAD in the classroom and was fascinated by it.

“In northern parts of Alaska the sun doesn’t rise for over 30 days. Lack of vitamin D, something that most humans get their majority of from the sun, causes depression,” said Chahrour.

Cheryl Flower, administrative assistant at Northern Light Technologies said people dealing with SAD do see positive results quickly when they employ light therapy.

“Most people experience a change in about five to seven days,” said Flower, whose firm claims a higher degree of lux than most such lamps produce.