You may have Seasonal Affective Disorder and not know it

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) occurs at the same time every year, normally in the winter. I guess thats why it is called seasonal. It is sometimes referred to as winter blues, hibernation depression, or winter depression. A lack of light may be the main reason for SAD, it is only right that light therapy is recommend.

Those living farther from the equator are at greater risk. Like other depression, it affects more women than men. 10 million people are affected by SAD. Women ages 20 to 40 are most likely to be diagnosed to SAD,  likely due to hormone al changes. 

There are two common types of SAD..

Winter Depression, which starts in late fall early winter and end in the summer. Summer depression, begins in the late spring or early summer. This affects those that live in warmer climates. 

But for those people who experiences seasonal affective disorder, the change in season might have great effect on their mood as well as energy levels. They may show symptoms of depression that could have significant impact on their daily activities and lives as a whole.

A person who suffers from SAD often shows some of the symptoms as follows:

  • Difficulty in sleeping
  • Impaired concentration as well as thinking
  • Lack of energy level for everyday tasks such as going to work or studying
  • Feeling of extreme sadness, tearful, guilty and feeling down
  • Feeling worthless or indifferent
  • Panic attacks
  • Increased level of anxiety. Feeling tensed and unable to cope with daily stresses
  • Significant mood swing. Some people become very much cheerful and hyperactive during particular season such as autumn or spring. This condition is also called hypomania.
  • Overeating. Putting on weight and increased cravings of carbohydrates.
  • Becoming prone to illness. Other people who have SAD likely develop weak immune system, especially winter. They might get colds, infection as well as other illnesses.
  • Lower libido. People with SAD also loss interest in physical contact or sex.
  • Have relationship and social problems. They may feel irritable seeing people 
  • Abusive behaviors. They may also signify abusive behavior such as drug or alcohol abuse.

Treatment for SAD

During the winter when the sun is not visible, one of the treatment options is for light therapy. Those diagnosed usually are required to sit under a light box for 30 to 60 minutes at a time.  Bright lights changes chemicals in the brain. Phototherpay has been to work while a patient is pregnant.  Light therapy is referred to as phototherpy.

Some of the side affects may  include irritability, insomnia, headaches, and eyestrain.

Tanning beds should not be used because they do not filter out harmful UV waves. It is always important to consult your doctors before any treatments. The best time to use light therapy is in the morning because it may cause insomnia late a night. 

Antidepressant medications are useful for people who need further treatments if phototherpy is not effective to treating their synptoms.  Some serotonin selective reuptake inhibitor many be prescribed and have been found effective. Examples  include fluoxetine (Prozac), sertraline (Zoloft), paroxetine (Paxil), and citalopram (Celexa).

SAD is a serious disorder that disrupts the lives of many people, worldwide. And like other types of depressions it is very treatable.Whatever you are diagnosed with you should follow the advice of your doctor because that is why you pay him for. 

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