FHN Experts Discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder, COVID-19 Preparations

November 16, 2020 – FHN President and CEO Mark Gridley, MBA, FACHE and FHN Family Counseling Center Clinical Director Susan Johnson, MSW talk about seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and the organization's COVID-19 preparations in the latest FHN COVID-19 update video.

As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, people may begin to experience the symptoms of SAD, including changes in eating and sleeping habits and mood, a lack of interest in things that used to be pleasurable and a tendency toward isolating oneself.

Children can experience SAD, as well. “Parents might see their child become more irritable, angry or withdrawn, or see changes in their child's sleeping habits,” Johnson said.

The best way to ease or avoid those symptoms, Johnson advises, is to stay as connected as possible with friends, neighbors, and loved ones. “If you or a loved one is experiencing SAD to the point that it affects your daily life - you can't work, clean your house, or take care of your kids - don't be afraid to reach out to a counselor for help.”

To arrange an appointment or assessment, contact the FHN Family Counseling Center at 815-599-7300.

COVID-19 Cases
Pandemic fatigue may be one of the reasons for the current uptick in area COVID-19 cases.

“People are getting together, and so many of us are trying to make everything ‘business as usual,' which is exposing more people to the virus and driving local cases up,” Gridley said.

FHN Memorial Hospital, while dealing with increasing case numbers, continues to prepare for a possible coronavirus surge. “We have enough personal protective equipment in general, though we can see some shortages in testing kits and surgical gowns, which is the same across the nation,” Gridley said.

The best thing the public can do to help, he said, is to keep following pandemic precautions - wear a mask, stay socially distant or stay home if possible, and keep washing your hands well.

The video, along with all of the previous weeks' videos, is available on FHN's COVID-19 information site, www.fhn.org/coronavirus.