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Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective DisorderAs its name suggests, seasonal affective disorder is a kind of depression that follows a seasonal pattern. A person suffering from SAD experiences depression symptoms exactly at the same time each year and gets worsened during the winter.

Symptoms and Causes

People living in areas farther from the equator, with shorter daylight hours and significant changes in daylight, are more prone to SAD. Typically the disorder is caused due to lack of sunlight during winter season, which upsets your sleep-wake pattern. When spring returns, SAD symptoms subside and the person returns to his/her usual mood.

  • Low mood
  • Lack of interest in life
  • Problem sleeping and concentrating
  • Pressure coping problem
  • Overeating
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Feel drowsy during daytime
  • Weight gain/loss
  • Low sex drive

The lack of light is thought to affect production of melatonin and serotonin hormones in people suffering from SAD, which may also affect the body's internal clock that regulates biological processes throughout the day.

Treatment

Light therapy works well to manage SAD symptoms. Regular physical activity could have a positive impact on mood. If you are suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder, taking a vitamin D supplement could help in managing SAD symptoms and reducing their severity.