Seasonal affective disorder

If you are someone who commonly gets depressed during the winter months, then you might be suffering from something known as seasonal affective disorder. This type of depression (also commonly referred to as SAD) really does cause problems in all types of people at the onset of winter. This is because there are some people who are seriously affected when the seasons change. These people are commonly those who enjoy being outdoors during the summer months, and closely associate their happiness with their sun based activities. Recent studies have shown that up to nine percent of American adults may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, meaning that one out of every ten people or so could experience depression during the long winter months.

The symptoms that are most commonly experienced by those suffering from seasonal affective disorder include a problem waking up in the morning, a craving for carbohydrates, a decrease in energy, concentration problems, and a general withdraw from your friends, family, and job duties. While these symptoms are not specific to Seasonal Affective Disorder (as they are also commonly associated with general depression), what is important is noticing when these symptoms take place.

Most commonly people who have a winter depression will start to experience more problems during the months from December to March. It may also be helpful to note that this kind of depression is one that appears to affect more women than men on a general basis. While everyone occasionally gets a case of the winter doldrums, those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder are operating at an even higher level. The reason for this is that people who are just experiencing “cabin fever” are often seen as experiencing a temporary problem, while those who are suffering from seasonal depression will find that their depression is prolonged, and the symptoms will increase over time.

For many, seasonal depression is something that often remedies itself when the sun begins to come out more in the spring, there are some people who may need to get professional help to stop their problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder. This may be especially true if the symptoms have progressed to a point where it is affecting your day to day functions and ability to hold down a job or go to school. Since this disorder is one that most commonly occurs during adolescence, it can be difficult to know if it is something that you should treat with medications because of the potential for side effects.

One alternative method of treatment for seasonal affective disorder involves the use of light that has been set up in a way that it can better mimic sunlight. Some people have also found that using tanning beds during the winter months may help them to feel more normalized. This could be because Seasonal Affective Disorder could be related to the body’s processing of light, the regulation of specific hormones, or even the fluctuation of the body’s core temperature. By working on a way to establish regular light and sun patterns, you could potentially help to fix the problems associated with this kind of seasonal depression.

Some psychiatrists and researchers believe that seasonal affective disorder could be an indicator of the development of severe depression later on in life. And, if it is not treated, there is a chance that the seasonal depression could in fact change over to this kind of prolonged depression. This is why it is important that if you have symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder and you find that it is not something you feel you can treat yourself, then you will want to seek professional help.


Last updated on Dec 26th, 2009 and filed under Mental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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