Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

November 15, 2016

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (SAD)

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression that is related to seasonal changes. This condition is also known as: winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, or seasonal depression. To be correctly diagnosed, the affected person should be known to have normal mental health throughout the rest of the year, with periods of depression occurring at the same time each year, usually winter. It is caused by the variation of light exposure in different seasons, most commonly, lack of light in winter. The lack of sunlight decreases the chemical serotonin (which regulates mood), and increases the production of the chemical melatonin (increases sleep and drowsiness). Cases of SAD are rare in Australia and are more likely to occur in places further from the equator where the days are shorter.

Symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Oversleeping
  • Poor sleep
  • Difficulty getting up in the morning
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased libido
  • Body aches
  • Overeating
  • Weight gain
  • Sadness
  • Moodiness
  • Anger
  • Emptiness
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Cravings for carbohydrates
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Restlessness and irritability

  This condition is readily treated by Light Therapy