A scientific explanation behind why you may be feeling down this - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

A scientific explanation behind why you may be feeling down this winter

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TRI-CITIES, WA - While this cold and gloomy winter weather can be frustrating for many of us, it can actually take a toll on your health.

Reporter Kristina Shalhoup sat down with a clinical psychologist today and learned that if you've been feeling down this winter, sleeping more, and even craving more carbs, you might just have Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that takes its toll during the winter months, and while it's not uncommon, it doesn't happen to everyone.

Doctors like Prama Chakravarti, says there are patterns to who is most affected by the disorder.

"It's more prevalent in women than men, because depression is more common in women than men. And younger people are more often affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder," said Dr. Chakravarti. 

Doctors believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder is caused by a number of factors, including the temperature outside, the amount of natural light we see every day, as well as how our eyes adjust to that light.

Unlike depression itself, the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder completely disappear once we turn from winter to spring.

One last important thing to remember is that in order to actually have Seasonal Affective Disorder, you have to show symptoms for at least two consecutive years. On top of that, your symptoms can't be due to any lifestyle changes or stresses...they must simply be seasonally induced

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