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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).

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On Sharecare we’re keeping you informed on the latest Ebola news, shining some light on how sunshine can make you happy, and revealing why busy emergency rooms may give better care.
  1. Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, ... Read More »
When the northern hemisphere is far from the sun during the winter months, some of us experience chemical changes in our brains that lead to depression. It’s called seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, and it affects 10% of Americans. Fortunately, there is an innovative solution to combat it. High-powered light-makers (not sun lamps, which ... Read More »
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 »

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