For most people it's just another gloomy north Texas day--but for Teresa Miller those grey skies can make her blue
"Sad, depressed, feeling of crying, loss of interest in doing activities,” Teresa explained. “Pretty much you just don't want to do much."
Depression medications helped but her condition got worse when Teresa and her family moved to Boston, Massachusetts where she suffered through one of the worst winters on record.
But it wasn't the cold or snow that bothered her so--it was the unending string of short, dark winter days.
"When I went off to Boston I was not taking anything at the moment and the winter was really bad up there,” Teresa recalled. “I noticed how depressed I'd become up there."
This summer Teresa moved back to Texas and felt great--until fall when its grey skies and shorter days started to make her feel blue again
That's when she reunited with Baylor-Garland doctor Jane Sadler.
Dr. Sadler said SAD can be formally diagnosed when a patient has periods of depression at the same time every year for at least two consecutive years--followed by periods without depression.
Teresa's Texas to Boston then back to Texas pattern made the diagnosis easy.
“We realized that she was sadder in Boston not because she was in a different place but probably it was enhanced by the fact that it was a darker place,” Dr. Sadler said. “It was more cloudy and the fall and winter season there last just a little bit longer than it did here in Texas."
While medicine helps--Teresa is looking for a more holistic approach and may give light therapy a shot. Dr. Sadler said other therapies may help as well.
"We'll look at acupuncture as an alternative; we'll look at yoga and exercise to raise her own natural endorphins and help manage her depression," Dr. Sadler said.
Teresa is just happy Dr. Sadler was able to shine the light on sad--and if she's blue this winter at least she'll know why.
"Winter made me more upset,” Teresa said. “I think it happens to a lot of people."