Seasonal Affective Disorder

Below you will find more information about Seasonal Affective Disorder from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Seasonal Affective Disorder and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Seasonal Affective Disorder comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

This disorder is also known as winter depression wherein sufferers feel normal mental health all through most of the year but feels depressed during the winter. People experiencing this disorder, tend to sleep too much, have less energy, and craves for sweets and starchy foods. There are three types of this disorder which are Fall and Winter SAD, Spring and Summer SAD and Reverse SAD.

Diagnosis

SAD can be difficult to diagnose for the reason it is difficult to determine from other forms of depression. A physician will ask if the symptoms have been experienced for at least two years consecutive and if it was the same season. Also questions whether the depression periods were followed by seasons wherein you did not feel depressed.

Treatment

Light therapies, ionized-air reception, medication, careful timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin and cognitive-behavioural therapy are used to treat classic SAD. Other effective treatments are SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and bupropion.

Symptoms and Signs

For Fall and Winter SAD are fatigue, depression, anxiety, hopelessness, lack of energy, withdrawal from social life, sleeping too much, lack of interest in activities once enjoyed, change in appetite, weight gain, hard up in processing and concentrating information. For Summer and Spring SAD symptoms are anxiety, insomnia, irritability, agitation, loss of weight, lack of appetite and elevated sex drive. For Reverse SAD symptoms are elevated social activity, hyperactivity and uncontrolled enthusiasm which are out of proportion to the situation.

Causes

SAD is usually caused by insufficient bright light during the winter months. It was found that bright lights change the chemicals in the brain.

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