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Advice Available on Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Contact: Sandra Sigmon, (207) 581- 2049

ORONO — Many of us, especially in northern climates, can experience the depressing effects of seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, as days grow shorter and darker with the onset of winter. For some, the syndrome can be debilitating.

UMaine professor of psychology Sandra Sigmon, a cooperating professor of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, is available to discuss coping with SAD. She suggests getting as much outdoor exposure as possible when there is daylight, but there are other ways to combat SAD, she says.

Her advice? Try to get outside in sunlight at least 15 minutes a day; surround yourself with light surroundings, sit near a window or paint walls a light color; keep up usual hobbies and interests; keep exercise levels similar to spring and summer; try to keep diet similar throughout the year; and maintain social activities.

If symptoms are disruptive, consider a light therapy box, which retails from $150-$400, and see a physician for evaluation, she advises.

Sigmon is reachable at 581-2049.

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