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Facts About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

November 12, 2014 5:24 PM |

Do seasonal changes annoyingly affect your perception towards life and existence? Wait, this is not just a passing phase; you could be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Popularly referred to as seasonal depression, winter depression, winter blues, summer depression or even summer blues, it’s a mood disorder in which people generally having normal mental health may suffer from depression with the approaching winter or summer season. This seasonal unique mood disorder is now recognized as a common phenomenon.

Some people might experience serious alterations within them with seasonal changes. Besides depression, the other symptoms generally include restlessness, morning sickness, lethargic feeling, heightened anxiety, and tendency to oversleep and over eat. A person might also face difficulties in completing tasks on time due to lack of energy, maintaining a healthy social life and decreased sex drive. With depression mounting up, pessimistic feelings come as hurdles for healthy and peaceful existence.

In 1984, SAD was first described and named by Norman E. Rosenthal and his colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health. The different kind of treatments for the winter-based seasonal affective disorder includes anti-depressant medication, cognitive-behavioural therapy, ionized-air administration, carefully timed supplementation of melatonin hormone and light therapy with sunlight or bright lights. SAD has been found to be related to a chemical imbalance in our brains, due to lack of light in winter’s shorter days and mostly overcast skies.

Seasonal mood swings are widely believed to be related to light. Bright sunlight is preferred for seasonal affective disorder and light boxes may be effective for the treatment of the condition as these are designed to filter out most of the UV light, which can cause eye and skin damage. Light therapy has proven to be effective in treating seasonal affective disorders. When this therapy is compared with anti-depressants, they show equal effectiveness but definitely with less expense and more speedy therapeutic benefit.

This malady is diagnosed more often in women, but men may have more severe symptoms.Get the cue from its symptoms and take seasonal affective disorder seriously. Just like any other types of depression, seasonal affective disorder can have irreparable consequences and even be suicidal. So it’s time for you to light up your house and raise up the blinds.

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