From now until spring, seasonal affective disorder (SAD, a type of major depression that occurs this time of the year) may affect more employees who live in northern areas of the country. Symptoms can include sadness, changes in appetite or weight, sleep problems, lack or diminishing of energy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, lack of interest in activities, or suicidal thoughts. Employees affected by SAD may use sick leave more often, take more breaks from work, and react to their condition in ways that do not help to resolve it.

Federal law prohibits employers from discriminating against disabled workers, so SAD sufferers may be entitled to schedule changes, accessibility to windows to obtain more light, etc. Depression during the holidays is at an all time high.Before it gets complicated and conflicts ensue, reach out to SAD workers. Be sure that they know they can talk to someone who can help them with strategies that really work.

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