Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Promote this Page

Know About Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

 Seasonal affective disorder or SAD is a type of depression that is seen to affect people in autumn and winter. These people feel well in summer and spring. There are around 20 percent of people who are affected by SAD. This is seen three times more in women than men. It is prevalent more in younger people between the ages of 18 and 40 years. SAD is found more in the northern countries as the days are shorter in the northern hemisphere. It is aggravated if one also worrying about work, money or his or her personal relationships.

Cause of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

The cause of Seasonal affective disorder is closely related to lack of exposure to daylight. This explains that during spring and summer people feel quite well whereas in winter and autumn, they experience problems. Ther are different reasons given for having SAD. One is that the person might be having a lack of serotonin and serotonin polymorphisms. Another possibility is that there could be production of melatonin in the dim light as well as darkness by the pineal gland as there are direct connection between the pineal gland and the retina.

Types of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Seasonal affective disorder can turn out to be a serious disorder for which the person may need hospitalization. There are cases of suicide in some patients of SAD. There is a report that says that 6 to 35 percent of patients of these disease needed hospitalization in one of their periods of their illnesses. The symptoms as seen in SAD sometimes seem to be similar to that of dysthymia or clinical depression. There could be times, when the patients are not feeling depressed and instead feel a lack of energy to do everyday work. A research conducted among Americans revealed that the presence of the disease among the people is around 105 percent in Florida whereas it is 9 percent in the northern US.

 SAD Symptoms

 The main symptoms of people suffering from Seasonal affective disorder are unhappy feeling along with lack of energy, tired and low spirits as well as a feeling of depression. Many find their sleep getting disturbed. They eat less or more than what they eat normally and show a lack of sex drive. These symptoms are seen to start from September to November and fade away as the spring arrives and the days get longer daylight hours. SAD is mostly found at measurably present at places of the Arctic region, as in Finland (64º 00´N) where SAD is said to affect 9.5% of the population. If the days are cloudy, the effect of SAD worsens.

SAD Treatment

All Seasonal affective disorder patients should be exposed to ample amount of daylight. There are light boxes available that can be availed to get regular dose of artificial light every day. His way many people are helped to get rid of the disorder. These people should go to counselors regularly and take counseling lessons. They should also exercise regularly and spend more time outdoors. One can boost one’s mood with rest, healthy diet and relaxation.

 There are numerous treatment available for winter based SAD. These include light therapies, ionized-air reception, medication and cognitive-behavioral therapy along with carefully timed supplementation of the hormone melatonin. The common form of treatment adopted is bright light but around 19 percent of the patients stop using them as they find it inconvenient.

In this treatment, there is a lamp which is specially designed and is many times brighter than that of a normal indoor light is placed near the patient with SAD. With 2500 - 10,000 lux, these lights seem to be an effective dose for the patients. The treatment generally goes till 60 minutes, though it depends on individual cases. The patient sits at a distance of 60 cm from the box and has his or her eyes open but looking at some other direction. The box is best found useful during the morning hours. One should find the best time of the day to get its utility.

A more effective treatment of SAD is Dawn simulation with an 83% percent better result than that with any other light therapy. Those using light therapy can find improvement in the first week and the result increases with the continuation of the treatment.

Post Your Comments

Comment Script


Please enter the text you see in the image below in the appropriate input box.