Sunny Manitoba? Not so much

A cloudy gloom over much of Manitoba during the last few weeks has caused a spike in the number of people with the winter blues.

Calls about Season Affective Disorder have soared in province

Clouds and gloom over much of Manitoba in late October and early November has created a spike in number of people suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. 1:53

What has happened to Sunny Manitoba?

The cloud and gloom over much of the province during the last few weeks has caused a spike in the number of people with the winter blues.

The Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba says the number of calls it has received about Seasonal Affective Disorder just one week into November has already doubled what it typically receives for the entire month.

"We have seen it all across Manitoba. All the outreach managers are saying that they are hearing about it in group, they're getting calls about it," said Tara Brousseau-Snider of the association's Winnipeg branch.

Her office has shipped out more than 20 full-spectrum lights in the last week. Normally it ships out 10 a month.

Another 20 have been ordered for next week.

The lights, which are used to treat depression, mimic natural sunlight which may not be available in some areas during the darker winter months.

Brousseau-Snider says SAD has many symptoms.

"You won't have any energy, you will not want to have any sex, you might be eating a great deal. It's kind of like a bear who wants to hibernate," she said.

She blames the lack of sun and last weekend's time change for the increase in calls.

According to CBC News meteorologist John Sauder, the last time Winnipeggers had a prolonged sunny day was on Oct. 14, but it was mixed with cloudy periods.

On the 21st, we had about three hours of sun and on the 28th, we had about two hours, he said.

"So, that's roughly five hours since the 14th of October. That's not a scientific calculation by any stretch, but the point is we are way below our quota for sun," Sauder said.

"The next good chance is Thursday, a mix of sun and cloud. Although we may see a sunny break on Wednesday, that won't last long."