Michigan Association of Health Plans

Priority Health provides services to help with Winter Blues & Seasonal Depression

This article appeared in FOX 17. Read more here.

As winter rolls in, the days are shorter, the sun shines less, and the scenery is white and dreary. During the season, many people feel down in the dumps calling it “winter blues.” Is it truly the winter blues, or is it something deeper?

Beth Courbier, Manager of Behavioral Health at Priority Health, talks about some of the services they provide that can help people get through winter blues and seasonal depression.

The Winter Blues and Seasonal Affective Depression (SAD) are distinctly different conditions. Winter Blues is a mental state of overall sadness and fatigue people feel during the coldest and darkest months of the year.

People with the Winter Blues may feel down and out, but they still have enough energy and motivation to live daily life and complete necessary tasks like going to work, household duties, among other things. Although winter blues is not considered a mental health disorder and does not interfere with daily functions, it can still make people feel “down and out.”

Unlike Winter Blues, symptoms of Seasonal Affective Depression are more impactful on a person’s daily function and appear during late fall or early winter. Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling listless, sad or down most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy and feeling sluggish
  • Having problems with sleeping too much
  • Experiencing carbohydrate cravings, overeating and weight gain
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having thoughts of not wanting to live

Common treatments to help fight off SAD include seeking therapy, medication, and changes in lifestyle.

When signing up for health benefits with Priority Health, they offer a 24/7 behavioral health assistance hotline to guide people seek the help and treatment they need for their mental health.

To learn more about their services, visit priorityhealth.com.

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