Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. It may begin during the teen years or in adulthood. Like other forms of depression, it occurs more often in women than in men. People who live in places with long winter nights are at greater risk for SAD. A less common form of the disorder involves depression during the summer months.
Symptoms usually build up slowly in the late autumn and winter months. They are usually the same as with other forms of depression:
SAD can sometimes become long-term depression. Bipolar disorder or thoughts of suicide are also possible.
As with other types of depression, antidepressant medications and talk therapy can be effective. To manage your symptoms at home:
When you are struggling with depression, talk about how you're feeling to someone you trust. Try to be around people who are caring and positive. Volunteer or get involved in group activities.
Light therapy using a special lamp with a very bright light (10,000 lux) that mimics light from the sun may also be helpful.
Side effects of light therapy include:
A check-up with your eye doctor is recommended before starting treatment.
With no treatment, symptoms usually get better on their own with the change of seasons. However, symptoms can improve more quickly with treatment.
From Pub Med Health, a service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Full Article
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