Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons. Millions of American adults may suffer from SAD, although many may not know they have the condition. SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. Most people with SAD have symptoms that start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. SAD occurs much more often in women than in men, and it is more common in those living farther north, where there are shorter daylight hours in the winter.
Signs and symptoms
- Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
- Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Experiencing changes in appetite or weight
- Having problems with sleep
- Feeling sluggish or agitated
- Having low energy
- Feeling hopeless or worthless
- Having difficulty concentrating
- Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide
How is Seasonal Affective Disorder treated?
- Light therapy has been a mainstay for the treatment of SAD
- Psychotherapy CBT also has been adapted for people with SAD
- Antidepressant medications selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are also used to treat SAD
- Vitamin D nutritional supplements of vitamin D may help improve their symptoms
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