Feeling blue? Seasonal affective disorder a reality for many even in spring

If the weather's got you down you're not alone. While you wait for the sunshine, there are ways to let the light in during cloudy, rainy and chilly weather.

Cloudy, rainy weather can get you down, too, says mental health expert

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, doesn't just happen in winter, says Helen Fishburn with CMHA Waterloo Wellington. (Kate Bueckert/CBC)

Spring, where are you?

If you feel like the weather is more akin to November than May, you're not alone. Even the spring flowers that are supposed to burst forth from April's showers seem delayed in their arrival.

Helen Fishburn, the acting executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington, said the gloomy weather can impact everyone and seasonal affective disorder is a reality for many.

"Even in the spring when the temperatures are technically warmer, they should be warmer, people who are not exposed to sunlight still suffer from the impact of seasonal affective disorder," Fishburn said.

She suggests getting outside, even if the sun isn't shining brightly.

"In a bit of an overcast day, if people go outside, there are some lights and rays from the sky that do help, even if it's not full on sun," she said.

Fishburn stresses it's important for people to get outside and not shut themselves off from the world.

"It's a conscious decision to turn on all the light in your home," Fishburn said. "That will include bringing in people to your home as well that you feel connected to and can cheer you up."

There will be some opportunities to catch a glimpse of the sun this week, according to the Environment Canada forecast.

Tuesday will see a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of showers in the morning and a high of 14 Celcius.

Wednesday will be cloudy with rain and a high of 15 C.

Thursday is a mix of sun and cloud with a high of 17 C while Friday is also a mix of sun and cloud with a high of 18 C.

Currently the forecast is calling for a mix of sun and cloud with a chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday, but the temperatures are inching higher to the 20 C mark.

The Kitchener Public Library will be putting their therapy lamps in storage after May 21. KPL says, "they come out again after Thanksgiving in October." (Halifax Public Libraries)


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?