Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, summer blues, or seasonal depression, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer, spring or autumn year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is "a specifier of major depression".

Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder, with its prevalence in the U.S. ranging from 1.4 percent in Florida to 9.7 percent in New Hampshire.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine notes that "some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up." The condition in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder, and can also include heightened anxiety.

SAD was formally described and named in 1984 by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health.

There are many different treatments for classic hormones (winter-based) seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy with sunlight or bright lights, antidepressant medication, cognitive-behavioral therapy, ionized-air administration, and carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Subconscious learning shapes pain responses

In a new study led from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet, researchers report that people can be conditioned to associate images with particular pain responses – such as improved tolerance to pain – even ...

All sounds made equal in melancholy

The room is loud with chatter. Glasses clink. Soft music, perhaps light jazz or strings, fills the air. Amidst all of these background sounds, it can be difficult to understand what an adjacent person is ...

Faster heart rate linked to diabetes risk

An association between resting heart rate and diabetes suggests that heart rate measures could identify individuals with a higher future risk of diabetes, according to an international team of researchers.

Vortex device makes for better cancer treatments

A South Australian invention, responsible for unboiling an egg, has been used to produce a four-fold increase in efficacy of carboplatin, a commonly used drug for ovarian, lung and other cancer. ...