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Feeling A Bit Down This Winter? Experts Say You're Not Alone

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In case you haven't noticed, it's been pretty cloudy this winter.

"We've had 21 out of 31 days, not just mostly cloudy, but cloudy, and that's what gets a lot of people down," WCCO Radio Meteorologist Mike Lynch said.

And besides that, when it was sunny, it was bitter cold. That was keeping people inside, which can give people the "winter blues."

"It's very real," Hennepin County Medical Center Psychologist Matthew Syzdek said.

He said about 92 percent of individuals notice a seasonal variation in their mood. He said symptoms include a lack of energy among other things.

"And what's really unique is that they tend to sleep more and really struggle to get out of bed, and they tend to eat more carbs, and gain weight," he said.

He said there are some signs when you know you might be in trouble.

"If it's starting to be an everyday thing, or an all-day thing, or is it making it hard to do stuff that really matters to you in life? Then it's time to see a mental health care or primary care provider," he said.

In most cases, he said if you just try to get outside, even if it's not sunny and do something, that helps.

He says in some cases "light" therapy or medication can help deal with the depression.

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