Cloudy weather can affect your mental state

Cloudy weather can affect your mental state

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Ever get the feeling that your emotions are linked to the weather?

Columbus resident Eric Lewis does.

"Bad weather, rainy weather sometimes makes you miserable, a little sad," Lewis said.

"It makes me feel tired," added Ebony Pharrow who also lives in Columbus. "My kids are in and out of school."

The gloomy feeling that comes with the dreary weather is a clinical condition, one that psychologists believe is linked to changes in weather patterns. Its name is Seasonal Affective Disorder.

"It is a type of depressive disorder that affects people's concentration," explained Dr. Ron King with Pastoral Institute. "And they lose an interest in normal, daily activities. They have sometimes low energy and may feel fatigued."

So whether it's rainy out, cloudy or maybe even snowing, Dr. King says that sad feeling that you're feeling could be a sign of depression that's linked to lack of sunlight.

According to a clinical study, the disorder affects about three percent of the U.S. population,  causing a change in the chemistry of the brain, something Dr. King says affects even more people.

"At any given time, 20 percent of the population in America can be diagnosed with a depressive disorder -- some type of depression," added Dr. King. "And Seasonal Affective Disorder is just one of those pieces of diagnosis of depression."

A piece that Dr. King says is not as common here in the Chattahoochee Valley as it is in states further north.

And while the condition is linked to lack of sunlight, there have been cases of seasonal affective disorder in the spring and summer months.

"But it is the exception, not the rule in the southeast," said Dr. King.

If you think you have S.A.D., Dr. King says take a look at your exercise routine, sleep pattern and the demands of your every day life. If you find yourself feeling sad after that, he suggests seeking professional attention.

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