As the summer break comes to an end it's normal to feel down and a little blue.
But for some people this time of year can lead to depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder. Dr. Mike explained "if these sorts of things happen in the fall and winter and they keep happening every fall and winter but you're fine in July most likely you have Seasonal Affective Disorder." Dr. Mike said some people need light treatment. He suggests talking with your doctor to get treatment and to rule out other types of depression like bipolar disorder. Dr. Mike said people with SAD need an extra light source to feel better. They also benefit from increased support from family and friends.
Dr. Mike shared his story about attending medical school at Penn. He says he's proof if you believe in yourself and work hard you can achieve anything you want.
Dr. Mike also talked about a new study involving hair. The study examined cortisol levels measured in hair. Cortisol is a chemical released by the body when it's stressed. Dr. Mike said this study "was a better marker than cholesterol, high blood pressure, and everything else." He said the men in the study with the highest cortisol levels in their hair had an increased risk of heart attack. Hair can be a good barometer of chronic stress because hair grows so slowly.