Office Hours:
Monday: 12- 9 pm Tuesday: 12- 7 pm Wednesday: 12 - 9 pm Thursday: 12 - 7 pm Friday: 12 - 9 pm

720 45th Street
Munster , IN 46321


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Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Definition of SAD: Onset of depression in late fall and early winter, with complete remission in summer.

  • Excessive eating, weight gain, craving for chocolate and carbohydrates
  • Excessive sleep and difficulty in waking up early in the morning
  • Sensitivity to rejection (in relationships)
  • Heavy feeling in extremities (arms & legs)
  • Afternoon slump in energy (after lunch sleepiness)

How common is SAD?
4-9% of the population has SAD, and 20% has a minor form of SAD. SAD and SAD spectrum disorders show a pattern amongst family members. Genetic polymorphism for serotonin receptors is known to cause SAD.

What causes SAD?
There are 2 theories about the cause for SAD:

  • Increase in Melatonin level: The biological clock fails to reset as the daylight hours change, causing a disturbance in the sleep cycle. People then have difficulty getting up in the morning when it is still dark. Because it stays dark longer in the morning, people with SAD will continue to produce Melatonin (hormone needed to maintain sleep) until the wee hours of the day.
  • Decrease in other neurotransmitters: There is a decrease in Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Dopamine.


  • Light Therapy (see below)
  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (phase therapy)
  • Medications (Wellbutrin, MAOI)

Light Therapy
People can experience light therapy by sitting under various forms of specialized lamps. Light therapy decreases Melatonin production and increases Norepinephrine, Serotonin, and Dopamine production, and it can treat SAD, PMS, Bulimia, Sleep Disorders, Shift Work Sleep Disorder, and Jet Lag.

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Our Office Serves: Munster, IN, Dyer, IN, Highland, IN, Griffith IN, St. John IN, Schererville IN, Merrillville IN, Crown Point IN, Hobart IN, Valparaiso, IN, Lansing IL, Flossmoor IL, Homewood IL, Orland Park IL