Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

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Seasonal affective disorder is a kind of depression that occurs at a certain time of the year, usually in the winter. It is similar to regular depression except sufferers are usually very tired and have an increase in their appetite. People who live in places with long winter nights are at a greater risk for SAD.

Symptoms are usually the same as with other forms of depression:


Signs & Tests:
There is no test for SAD. Your healthcare provider can make a diagnosis by asking about your history of symptoms. Even with a thorough evaluation, it can sometimes be difficult for your doctor or mental health provider to diagnosis seasonal affective disorder because other types of depression or other mental health conditions can cause similar symptoms.

The following criteria must be met for a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder:

Treatment for seasonal affective disorder may include light therapy, medications, and psychotherapy. For milder symptoms, spending time outdoors during the day or arranging homes and workplaces to receive more sunlight may be helpful.

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SOURCE:  United States National Library of Medicine; Medline; Mental Health America; Mayo Clinic