Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Nicole Bonnell and Taylor Williams


Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) is a kind of depression that occurs only at a certain time in the year. Usually this depression occurs in the winter months, but in some cases it occurs during the summer months. The cause of this disorder is when the weather starts to get colder; the person starts to feel sadder. Your natural melatonin levels drop and less sun exposure decreases the brain chemical serotonin, which affects mood. Also, your biological clock gets off, which lets you know when you should be asleep and awake, which is a common cause of depression. Normally, the patient beings to feel sad in the late fall months and throughout all of the winter months. In rare cases the patient is happier in the winter months, but beings to feel sad in late spring and throughout summer. Everyday symptoms of this disorder for the winter months are depression, hopelessness, anxiety, loss of energy, feeling heavy, social withdraw, oversleeping, loss of interest, unhappiness, and weight gain. If you feel like you are suffering from S.A.D. in the summer months the symptoms are anxiety, trouble sleeping, agitation, weight loss, and poor appetite. If you continue to have this problem you could develop long term consequences, which include suicidal thoughts or behavior, social withdraw, substance abuse, and school or work problems.

seek help if you feel like you are suffering from S.A.D.

Ways to get help

If you think that you are suffering from S.A.D. you should contact your doctor. They may be able to prescribe you medicine that would make you feel better. You could also talk to a therapist if you feel like you are suffering from S.A.D. To overcome this problem you should first go to a doctor. They might suggest that you try light therapy, increase your levels of melatonin, wake up at the same time every day, try to manage it at home, or see a therapist.

National Suicide Hotline