Seasonal depression makes winter more difficult in New England

PROSPECT & FAIRFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — For most, Christmas is a joyous time.

However, it isn’t always so happy for other people.

“Christmas is either great or not,” explained Kelly Cronin, who provides comfort animals.

Cronin knows the downside of Christmas all too well. She lost her job and learned her mom had terminal cancer on the same day.

Now, she runs a small farm in Prospect where she provides comfort animals to foster children and to adults battling depression.

“You anticipate that you’re going to get what you want, or that your family going to all sit around the dining room table and everybody is going to exchange gifts and love each other, and a lot of times that doesn’t happen,” she said.

Related Content: Tips for coping with holiday stress

There’s science to back up why Cronin is in high demand at the holiday. It’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder.

“It’s a type of major depression,” stated Dr. David Hollingsworth with Fairfield University.

It’s more common during winter, especially for those of us who live in the northeast since we’re further from the equator than others, according to Dr. Hollingsworth.

That means folks in New England have less sunlight in the winter, leading to more of the hormone, melatonin.

Dr. Hollingsworth says melatonin “…produces more sleepiness and being lethargic or being tired most of the time.”

Related Content: Self-harm, suicide attempts climb among US girls, study says

He also said that one sure way to fight seasonal depression, besides comfort animals, is to get up and keep doing what makes you happy.

“When you’re doing those things that you enjoy doing, typically, you’re in a happier mood,” Dr. Hollingsworth explained.

Of course, increased sleep is a symptom of depression.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s