Seasonal Affective Disorder

By: Alexa R

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

A form of depression that appears at the same time each year.

Signs or Symptoms

  • Changes in mood
  • lack of enjoyment
  • low energy
  • changes in sleep
  • changes in eating
  • difficulty concentration
  • less time socializing
  • depression
  • unexplained fatigue

How does it affect someone?

As winter approaches a person with SAD, would start feeling depression-like symptoms, and then as spring comes around, they would feel relief from all of their symptoms.

Other names or forms?

Sometimes, Seasonal Affective Disorder is abbreviated into SAD.

Also, in rare cases people with SAD will start feeling the symptoms during the summer months.

How is SAD diagnosed?

The doctor would preform a careful evaluation of the patient.

How is SAD treated?

The doctor will recommend one of these:

  • Increased Light Exposure- spending more time outside during daylight hours,or full spectrum lightbulbs around your house
  • Light Therapy- using a special light that stimulates daylight; you would have to sit in front of the light for about 45 minutes everyday
  • Talk Therapy- focuses on revising the negative thoughts and feelings associated with depression and helps ease the sense of isolation and loneliness that people with depression often feel
  • Medication- antidepressant medications help to regulate the balance of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain that affect mood and energy

Interesting Fact!!

Females are about 4 times more likely to develop SAD than males.