Seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also called winter depression, winter blues, summer depression and seasonal depression, is a mood disorder apparent in people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year, show depressive symptoms at the same time each year most often in the winter.
Cause and Symptoms[change | change source]
One possibility is that SAD is related to a lack of serotonin caused by the lack of sunlight, which could lead to serotonin polymorphisms. Serotonin polymorphisms could be responsible in SAD, although it has been disputed.
- Feeling sad, grumpy anxious or moody
- Losing interest in your usual activities
- Gaining weight
- Sleep and appetite problems
- Withdraw from social interaction
- Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
- Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
Treatment[change | change source]
Treatments include light therapy, medication, ionized-air administration, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin. Doctors often cure SAD with bright light therapy, although normal light therapy is the leading treatment for SAD. Light therapy can consist of exposure to sunlight, either by direct exposure from spending time outside, or using a computer controlled heliostat (a device that includes a mirror, usually a plain mirror, usually turns to keep reflecting sunlight on a specific object) to reflect into the windows of a home or office. Physical exercise is also known as an effective form of therapy for SAD, especially when combined with other forms of treatments.
References[change | change source]
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- "Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic". www.mayoclinic.org. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
- Terman, Michael; Terman, Jiuan Su (2006-12-01). "Controlled Trial of Naturalistic Dawn Simulation and Negative Air Ionization for Seasonal Affective Disorder". American Journal of Psychiatry 163 (12): 2126–2133. doi:10.1176/ajp.2006.163.12.2126. ISSN 0002-953X. https://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/doi/abs/10.1176/ajp.2006.163.12.2126.
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