Mario Castiel Merono

Luis Lorca-Merono III & Molly Cossairt welcomed baby boy, Mario Castiel Merono  on January 14, 2022. Mario weighed five  pounds, 13 ounces, and was 19.5 inches long at time of birth. He was delivered by Dr. Brian Bell at Cabinets Peaks Medical Center in Libby, Mont.


Photo provided by Jameson Images.

Eden Stonehocker

Micah and Samantha Stonehocker welcomed baby girl, Eden Stonehocker on January 19, 2022 at 2:55 p.m. Eden weighed 8 pounds, 15 ounces, and was 20.5 inches long at time of birth. She was delivered by Dr. Williams at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby, Mont.  


Photo provided by Jameson Images

In the Know
a column by Karen  Morrissette:
Seasonal Affective Disorder

Everybody occasionally gets sad, but this kind of SAD is something different. SAD stand for Seasonal Affective Disorder and it is sometimes referred to as the winter blues. You have probably felt the loss of light during the winter months. It’s cold. It’s dark. All you want to do is curl up under a cozy blanket and go to sleep…at 6pm. You may find yourself getting behind on chores or projects you planned to do and you may isolate yourself because getting dressed and leaving the house just doesn’t seem very interesting anymore.

Technically, SAD is a form of depression where people experience fatigue and sadness during periods when the days are the shortest. It is more common in countries farthest from the equator, where the amount of daylight changes more drastically. Here in the United States, symptoms may begin around November and continue into March or April. Symptoms can include low energy levels, irritability, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, appetite changes or sleep disturbances, and even hopelessness. In order to be diagnosed, you must have had seasonal episodes like this for at least two years.

These effects are associated with two different chemicals in the brain – melatonin and serotonin. Light stimulates the pineal gland in the brain to suppress melatonin production. Melatonin as associated with sleep. When there is less light, more melatonin is produced and you feel sleepier, disturbing the normal sleep cycle. Serotonin helps modulate mood. Lack of serotonin is associated with depression. Serotonin levels seem to increase with exposure to light.

There are treatments that can help with SAD. Phototherapy, or therapy using light, can be quite effective. This involves short periods of daily exposure to an artificial light that simulates sunshine. A SAD light box should provide the equivalent of ten-thousand lux of light and emit as little ultraviolet light as possible because this can be dangerous both for the skin and the eyes. The light box is usually used for 20-30 minutes within the first hour after getting up. It is should be placed 16 to 24 inches from the face, but not where you are looking directly into it. Light boxes come in different sizes and price ranges. The Lincoln County Public Library has one SAD lamp available at each branch, so this is a great chance to try one out and see if it works for you. The branches are open ten to six daily Monday through Friday.

Keeping a regular sleep/wake routine, even on the weekends, can also be beneficial, especially if you can get outside, even to take a 10-15 minute walk, either in the morning or at lunch when the most light is present. Limiting alcohol and caffeinated beverages can also help stabilize your sleep cycles and improve mood. Little things that promote good sleep, like keeping your bedroom dark and making sure the room is at a comfortable temperature are important. Regular exercise boosts serotonin levels and can be advantageous for those with SAD. Some people with severe symptoms may require anti-depressant medication and/or cognitive behavioral therapy, but often simple things like changing habits and getting more light exposure can make a big difference. If you think you may be having symptoms related to Seasonal Affective Disorder, contact your primary care provider. He or she can make sure that your symptoms aren’t being caused by something else that requires a different kind of treatment and help you determine the best approach for you.