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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) impacts those in colder climates, says U of M expert Charles Schulz. Image courtesy Creative Commons.

Dreary, chilly months can lead to the 'winter blues,' U of M expert says

January 22, 2011

For the northern hemisphere, wintertime brings sheets of snow and holiday cheer… for some. For others, the season can often lead to feelings of gloominess, mood changes and an overall sluggish outlook caused by low energy levels.

These feelings are common symptoms of a mild form of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a mood disorder that affects people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year but experience a mood change when temperatures cool down, days become shorter and sun exposure is limited.

A University of Minnesota Expert available to offer more information about the key aspects of the disorder and how to effectively combat it is:

Dr. Charles Schulz, professor and head of the U of M's Department of Psychiatry

Dr. Schulz can discuss SAD and offer different types of self-treatments that can successfully diminish symptoms of the disorder. He can also highlight the different symptoms and therapies between SAD, which is often curable through self-treatments like exercise and light exposure, and major depression, which typically requires professional help to overcome.

To view or embed a video of Schulz discussing the affects of SAD and useful ways to treat it, visit

To interview Schulz, contact Nick Hanson, Academic Health Center, or (612) 624-2449; or Jeff Falk, University News Service, or (612) 626-1720.

Expert Alert is a service provided by the University News Service. Delivered regularly, Expert Alert is designed to connect university experts to today's breaking news and current events. For an archive and other useful media services, visit Views expressed by experts do not represent the views of the University of Minnesota.

Tags: Academic Health Center

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videoExpert Perspectives: Seasonal Affective Disorder 

Expert Perspectives: Seasonal Affective Disorder