Seasonal Depression



Description

Seasonal Depression, also known as Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder where people who are otherwise mentally healthy experience symptoms of depression during a certain season every year. Symptoms include difficulty waking up in the morning, oversleep and overeating, lack of energy, and withdrawal from social interactions. In some severe cases it may lead to suicide.

Treatment

There are many treatments for classic winter seasonal depression. They include light therapy, medication, behavioral therapy, and melatonin supplement. Of these, light therapy is usually the most effective. In studies, 92% of patients experienced total relief of symptoms from bright light therapy via the ear canal to photo-sensitive regions of the brain.

Connector

SAD’s symptoms are incredibly intrusive to daily life. Many symptoms are shared with classic depression. Anxiety, irritability and insomnia lend themselves to social withdrawal by the sufferer. Lack of energy and concentration interfere with everyday tasks, as simple as waking up in the morning or making one’s food. A decreased sex drive is especially damaging to the personal life.


Visuals

external image Light-box-therapy.jpgexternal image Light_Therapy_Lamp.jpgexternal image sad_man.jpg

Statistics

-Occurs in about 5% of US adults. However up to 20% may experience symptoms ("Cabin Fever") that are not enough to warrant a full diagnosis.
-The average age for symptoms to appear is 23.
-The highest rate of SAD sufferers is in New Hampshire, with 9.7%
-Approximately 6-35% of sufferers require hospitalization during periods of illness
-92% of patients experienced total relief of symptoms from bright light therapy via the ear canal to photo-sensitive regions of the brain.

Web Linker

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seasonal_affective_disorder
http://www.psychtreatment.com/seasonal_affective_disorder.htm
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002499/

Help Line

SAD - Seasonal Affected Disorder
Melatonin - a naturally occurring hormone that is very important in regulating sleep cycles.
Bright Light Therapy - therapy that consists of exposing a patient to specific wavelengths of light for certain periods of time.
Insomnia - consistent sleep troubles