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Exploring seasonal affective disorder and loneliness around the holidays

Ryan Melaugh

It’s that time of year. Darkness descends during the early evening reminding us that summer is long gone and winter is ready to set in.

For some, this is just an inconvenience. For others, it can be seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, SAD is a depression that sets in during a particular time of year, most often in fall and winter. An exact cause is unknown, but it’s believed shorter days and less light are factors.

In addition to seasonal affective disorder, this time of year can be tough for people prone to loneliness. Social media can exacerbate the problem. Images from holiday celebrations can increase stress on those who already feel disconnected from family, friends or community.

On the next Charlotte Talks, our panel of guests join us to discuss these topics and possible solutions.


Dr. Hanne Hoffmann, assistant professor in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University
Dr. Jeremy Nobel, lecturer on global health and social medicine at Harvard Medical Center; founder & president of the Foundation for Art and Healing; and author of “Project Unlonely: Healing Our Crisis of Disconnection"

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Gabe Altieri is a Senior Producer for Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. Prior to joining WFAE in 2022, he worked for WSKG Public Media in Binghamton, New York.