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10 Things You Should Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

By at December 21, 2010 | 12:52 pm | Print

10 Things You Should Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

10 Things You Should Know About Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
by Alyssa Bacher 

  1. SAD is associated with the daylight, not the temperature. 
  2. Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) is a form of depression associated with the lack of natural light during the winter months.
  3. A lack of natural sunlight increases the body’s melatonin production, which regulates sleep and can cause symptoms of depression.
  4. SAD is treatable. If you have mild symptoms, meaning they don’t interfere with your life, they can be treated with light therapy. 50% to 80% of people with light symptoms have complete remission of symptoms.
  5. Some of the light therapy side effects are headaches, eyestrain, or nausea. The side effects are temporary and subside with time or reduced light exposure. Scientists mostly agree that there are no long-term side effects.
  6. You can try light therapy in your home. The best time for this would be in the early morning because if used late at night, it can cause insomnia.
  7. It takes more symptoms other than winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD. You have to have the symptoms for at least two consecutive years. And the seasonal depressive episodes need to outnumber the non-seasonal depressive episodes.
  8. SAD can be treated with medications that increase serotonin levels like Paxil, Prozac and Zoloft.
  9. You can get a device called a light visor that you wear around your head and complete your daily chores and rituals. It conducts light therapy and allows you to walk around while being treated so it doesn’t disturb your daily activities.
  10. If someone you know suffering from SAD, you can spend more time with them even though they say they don’t want the company. You can help them with their treatment plan. You can remind them that summer is right around the corner and the feelings aren’t forever. You can take them outside for a walk, but you need to remember to bundle up. There is another type of SAD, which occurs in the summer time. This is related to the humidity rather than light. Summer depression can cause violence, so it could be worse. As with any problem, the first step is to be diagnosed. Then a proper treatment can be prescribed. In the case of SAD, it might be light therapy or some other medication that increase serotonin levels.

 Sources:

http://www.medicinenet.com/seasonal_affective_disorder_sad/article.htm
http://blisstree.com/feel/six-quick-facts-about-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-234/
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1308876/seasonal-affective-disorder

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