January have you down? You’re not alone in a vitamin deficiency

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A nurse at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital warns the Ohio Valley’s lack of Vitamin-D is detrimental to our well-being

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF) — January, February, March – The days are shorter and the rays of sun are few and far between… and health officials are now saying it’s no coincidence people just feel bad this time of year. 

People are taking down the holly-jolly of Christmas, and now… We enter the blandness of January… And if you’re not be feeling quite like yourself, you’re not alone.

Around 5 percent of people start to feel some sort of depression in the wintertime, which we now call ‘seasonal affective disorder/seasonal depression.’ Especially now with COVID, it’s double time.

Kayla Mansfield, Nurse Practitioner at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

The nurse says they’re seeing a new person for depression every day. And there’s now a clear correlation to the funk some of us feel. 

The lack of sunshine. This area we don’t have too many sunny days during the winter so it’s important to get outside when it is sunny and get a little Vitamin-D. On that same token, some people have a Vitamin-D deficiency which can also cause seasonal depression and depression in general.

Kayla Mansfield, Nurse Practitioner at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

If it goes beyond a Vitamin-D deficiency, at Reynolds they can see if it’s a major depressive disorder. 

Nationally, the nurse says suicide numbers start to spike around the holidays, and that trend carries into the new year. 

I would say January is probably the worst.

Kayla Mansfield, Nurse Practitioner at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

It may not affect you all the time, but if you catch yourself feeling a little more like Eeyore… Stay busy, have good company, and soak up what little sun there is… And if there is none…trick your body into thinking you’re at the beach. 

Even artificial light is appropriate treatment. Obviously, I don’t condone tanning-beds because of the skin cancer risk, but I have seen that recommended. 

Kayla Mansfield, Nurse Practitioner at WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital

If you’re in need for resources, head here.

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