Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder can be an aspect of both unipolar depression or Bipolar Disorder. At its basic, SAD means that one's moods are affected by the change of seasons...primarily the switch into the winter months and then the change from Winter to Spring. Most experience its symptoms during the Summer to Winter switch. It is believed to be due to a decrease in the length of daylight time as the days shorten and move into Winter. Some Bipolar folks find the Winter months to be the time when they are most likely to fall into a deep depressive episode. Interestingly, 70 to 80% of sufferers are women with an onset usually in the thirties.

 

SAD is often indicated by the following symptoms: oversleeping, carbohydrate craving, and weight gain. Additional symptoms include the typical features of depression, such as decreased sexual appetite, lethargy, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, lack of interest in normal activities, and social withdrawal.

 

There are a couple of treatments for the SAD that may be helpful, but there is no conclusive evidence that they are. Some people have gotten relief from the use of light therapy; others have found certain antidepressants to be helpful, primarily bupropion. There are a multitude of vendors selling SAD lights for use in the home and there is even a light which mimics dawn and has proven to help as well. Somewhere between 9.7% and 20% of persons suffer from this disorder so it is quite prevalent...the figure may be higher for bipolar persons. Follow the Resource link below to read more about SAD and the things you can do to combat it.

 

 

Resources on Seasonal Affective Disorder...