Palmetto Parent 2010 December Issue : Page 38

“We talk about how thoughts and be-haviors are affecting things. My thoughts, feelings and behaviors are connected. If I am behaving how a depressed person would behave, I am going to feel de-pressed. I can’t let my feelings guide my behavior. If I’m not going to do something until I feel like it, I’m never going to do it. If I act the part, I am going to feel the part. You have the power to feel differ-ent.” — Sean Dolan, South Carolina Department of Mental Health psychologist is less prevalent in the state than in states farther from the equator, but South Caro-linians can and do suffer from it. “It messes up the sleep-wake cycle,” he said. “In the summer, I am used to going to bed a couple of hours after the sun goes down. Usually there is a pattern. (Those who suffer from SAD) will have problems every year. Come spring, they start feeling better.” Christiana DeGregorie, a psychologist with Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, agreed. “As the days get shorter, your circadian rhythm shifts,” DeGregorie said. “It gets thrown off schedule. There’s a change in how people’s bodies regulate themselves naturally. Sunlight is one of these fantastic things — it brightens your mood.” Symptoms of SAD There are some symptoms to be aware of as the winter days come. “People experience a dip in mood,” De-Gregorie said. 38 Palmetto Parent 1351 December 2010

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