Wachholtz explains rise in seasonal depression

Psychologist talks to Telegram & Gazette about SAD

By Sandra Gray

UMass Medical School Communications

November 26, 2013

Depression and lethargy afflict many when the days are short and skies are dark. And as people get less and less sunlight in their daily lives, seasonal affective disorder, better known as SAD, is on the rise.

“As we modernize . . . more of our life is indoors," explained Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Amy Wachholtz, PhD, who was interviewed by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette for a Nov. 26 story about the disorder, also known as seasonal depression or the winter blues. “And as we modernize, we're exercising less and that's a major way to combat SAD.”

First described as a psychiatric disorder by the National Institute of Mental Health in 1984, SAD has been linked to a biochemical imbalance in the brain caused by shorter days and less intense sunlight during the winter.

Read the complete story to learn more from Dr. Wachholtz and others about causes, symptoms and effective treatments for SAD.

Related links on UMassMedNow:
Wachholtz finalist for Mitchell Max Pain Research Award
Worcester, Mass. residents try to chase away winter blues: Amy B. Wachholtz, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry, gives advice on how to avoid seasonal depression
Expert’s Corner: Winter’s dark makes some especially SAD