Throughout Lawrence, the signs of winter are here. For most people, the cold air and cloudy weather brings joy, but for others it may cause something worse. During this time, Bert Nash center sees an increase in patients suffering from major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern.
“Usually around September October and continues to occur through February, even March,” said Heather Davis.
Mental Health America says about 5% of Americans suffer from seasonal depression and four out of five are women. Davis says to be aware of the signs of seasonal depression.
“You’re sleeping in a lot more lately, hey I noticed your sleeping in a lot, you know or starting to gain some weight, you don’t have as much energy, or you are not going to class. You know stuff like that,” said Davis.
If you are seeing some of those signs, the city implemented at least one creative solution. The Lawrence public library is offering these “sad lamps” for visitors to use to soak up some rays while hiding from the cooler temperatures. These lamps which are free to use provide the sunlight which people might not be getting during these cloudy months.
“It promotes more of that serotonin, dopamine production, which makes you feel good and also it can help set your circadian rhythm so kind of set your sleep cycle,” said Sara Volweider.
Library patrons can use the lamps while reading at the library or check one out to take home. If you feel like you may be suffering from seasonal depression, please visit Bert Nash for help.