The first week of February can be a tough time. The busy holiday season is over, and the thought that spring is still more than six weeks away can bring on the winter blues, also known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

Because depression is the most prevalent mental health problem in adults 50 and older, it's important to know whether you or a loved one is having something more serious than just a bad day.

If you believe you need some help, or simply want someone to talk to, the federal government's Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a 24-hour help line where you can get advice. Counselors will give you information about depression and offer treatment referrals, if necessary. Call 800-662-4357 or go to

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