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Seasonal Affective Disorder Information

Seasonal affective disorder, also known as S.A.D., winter depression or the winter blues is an affective, or mood, disorder. Most SAD sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer. The condition in the summer is often referred to as Reverse Seasonal Affective Disorder. Seasonal mood variations are believed to be related to light. An argument for this view is the effectiveness of bright light therapy. SAD is measurably present at latitudes in the Arctic region, such as Finland where the rate of SAD is 9.5% Cloud cover may contribute to the negative effects of SAD. SAD can be a serious disorder and may require hospitalization. There is also potential risk of suicide in some patients experiencing SAD. One study reports 6-35% of sufferers required hospitalization during one period of illness. The symptoms of SAD mimic those of dysthymia or clinical depression. At times, patients may not feel depressed, but rather lack energy to perform everyday activities. Norman Rosenthal, a pioneer in SAD research, has estimated that the prevalence of SAD in the adult United States population is between about 1.5 percent (in Florida) and about 9 percent (in the northern US).

Health Blogs

You might be quick to blame your spring allergy symptoms on pollen, or your year-round allergies on other usual suspects: mold, dust or pet dander. But something else you might not expect could be the cause of your sneezing, wheezing and even skin reactions. Watch ... Read More »
This time of year has its perks: snowmen, hot cocoa and this year, the Sochi Olympics. But let’s face it, winter has downsides, too. Frigid temperatures, dry air and lack of sunshine can do a number on your body and your mood. Fortunately there’s hope for all that. We’ve got five tips to help you survive the negative effects of ... Read More »
It may just look like the winter blues but that feeling some people experience at this time of the year is much more than that. There is a very specific type of depression that occurs in the fall and winter months that is called Seasonal Affective Disorder. The acronym for this disorder is aptly: SAD. It is unique to other types of depression, not ... Read More »

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