Sad in the fall: what helps against the winter blues 2

Sad in the fall: what helps against the winter blues

Berlin. Cloudy days, cloudy weather. It is raining outside, exhaustion is spreading inside. It's time for that mental depression, which captures nearly a quarter of men and more than a third of women in the cold and dark months in this country.

They are tired, the desire for sweets and carbs has no limits, whimsy too. winter bluessays the folk. But lack of enthusiasm and movement, my experts, can also be an expression of winter depression, so-called seasonal affective disorder, who – by mood – with the US (English for sad) abkürzt.

The symptoms of winter blues and winter depression are similar

Winter blues, winter depression – together they have symptoms, says a psychiatrist. Evangelos Karamatskos. "People are without energy, to feel less joy and withdraw, ”said a senior doctor at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Hamburg-Eppendorf University Hospital (UKE).

Some started crying for no reason, had difficulty concentrating, increased their need for sleep and Increased hunger strikes, "But unlike seasonal depression, people with winter blues can still do pretty well despite their bad mood and manage their daily lives," Karamatskos says. There is a limit to the number and severity of symptoms.

Lack of light plays a role in development

Above all, the lack of light in the darker and darker autumn and winter months probably plays a role in The advent of the US and lower mood. We drive to work in the morning, and we return in the dark. Between: the office, lunch in the canteen – it's so uncomfortable outside.

But light is our watch, it organizes ours Sleep Cycle Awake, our life. "We still cannot provide a clear biochemical explanation for US development," says Professor Martin Walter, director of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at Jena University Hospital. "But we know that the missing light is important."

Geographic data confirms this. The number of diagnoses increases with further northward movement in the Earth's hemisphere. "In the north of Finland they are up to 30 percent of the population affected by seasonal depression, ”says Walter.

Light ensures the production of happiness hormones

One explanation for this is this: "Through the retina, light enters the brain and ensures the production of certain messengers," says Walter. Especially that serotoninwhich many people know as the hormones of happiness, then let's make sure we are alert and careful.

At the same time, light inhibits production The hormone melatonin, which makes us fall asleep in the evening in the dark and then break up again. Only in winter, the level of melatonin remains elevated throughout the day – fatigue simply will not ease.

Whether it's elevated melatonin levels Affect mood there is, but it is still under investigation. There are tips – a modern antidepressant that works at the level of melatonin, very effective, says Karamatskos. "But the melatonin system is very complex – and we still don't fully understand it."