Feeling blue? New ways to beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

CLEVELAND - If you're feeling the winter blues, you're not alone. But know there are some new and easy ways to combat Cleveland's dreary winter weather.

We haven't had the usual amount of snow, but the cold, rainy weather isn't helping people feel so bright. If you're feeling down, you could be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD.

When it's dark outside, or we just get a lot of snow, the symptoms start to appear, medical experts say.

Fatigue, lack of interest in normal activities, social withdrawal, craving carbs and weight gain are some of the most common signs of SAD.

Experts also say the symptoms can be mild to moderate, but can become severe if not taken care of with proper medical care.

SAD may not just be happening to you during the winter months. Experts say if you work long hours in an office building that doesn't have a lot of windows, you might notice a change in your mood, just from being in a darker room for so many hours.

There are many ways to combat SAD, including using light therapy. That seems to be the most popular.

Dr. Scott Bea from the Cleveland Clinic says make sure if you get a light for therapy to help you, use a specific light. Bea says, "you need 10-thousand lux of light, at least 30 minutes of exposure every day, and there are portable devices people can use."

Some experts say diet, especially bananas and flax seed will help boost your mood on a regular basis.

Another, really different way to help beat SAD, reverse sunglasses. Some experts say the way the light reflects on the glasses can help bring your mood to a higher level, like light therapy.

Dr. Bea says while both may work, more research does need to be done.

With no treatment, as long as your symptoms aren't severe, usually you will notice you're feeling better when the seasons change.

Watch the video above for other ways to battle -- and beat -- those blues away.

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