Re-Order Re-Order

Chat Support
Monday to Saturday


What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a depression that happens to a person only at a specific time of year. It causes a person to become depressed in fall or winter when days are shorter, and it gets dark earlier. It is brought on by the brain’s response to seasonal changes in daylight. When the daylight hours grow longer again, the sadness lifts. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Treatment and Medication for Polio 
  1. Mood swings. The condition can cause a mood that is sad, depressed, or irritable. It can make people feel hopeless, discouraged, or worthless. They may cry or get upset more easily.
  2. Negative thinking. A person can become more self-critical or more sensitive to criticism. They may complain, blame, find fault, or see problems more often than usual.
  3. Lack of fun. People with this condition may lose interest in things they normally like to do. They may lose interest in friends and stop participating in social activities.
  4. Fatigue. People may feel tired, low on energy, or need more motivation to do things. To them, everything can seem like it takes too much effort.
  5. Sleeping troubles. A person may sleep much more than usual. They may need help getting up and ready for school or work early in the morning.
  6. Changes in eating. It may bring on cravings for comfort foods such as sugar and carbs and the tendency to overeat. Because of this change in eating, SAD can result in weight gain during winter.
  7. Trouble concentrating. Like any depression, it can make it hard to focus and may affect schoolwork and grades.

Seasonal Affective Disorder and Bipolar Disorder

People who have bipolar disorder are at increased risk of SAD. In some people with bipolar disorder, episodes of mania may be linked to a specific season. For example, spring and summer can bring on symptoms of mania or a less intense form of focus, worry, tension, and irritability. They may also experience sadness during the fall and winter months.

What are the Causes of Seasonal Affective Disorder?

  1. Circadian rhythm. The low level of sunlight in fall and winter may cause winter-onset SAD. This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body’s internal clock and lead to feelings of depression.
  2. Serotonin levels. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical that affects mood, might play a role in this condition. Reduced sunlight can cause a decline in serotonin which may trigger depression.
  3. Melatonin levels. The change in season can disrupt the balance of the body’s level of melatonin, which plays a role in sleep patterns and mood.

Can You Prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder?

There is no real way to prevent the onset of this disorder, but if you take steps to manage the symptoms, you can prevent it from worsening. Managing the symptoms can also reverse or head off serious changes in mood, appetite, and energy levels, as you can predict the time of the year in which these symptoms may start.

Treatment can help prevent complications, especially if the affective disorder is diagnosed and treated before symptoms get bad. Some people find it helpful to begin treatment before symptoms normally start in the fall or winter and then continue treatment past the time symptoms normally go away. 

What is the Treatment of SAD?

therapy - psychotherapy

Treatment for the seasonal affective disorder may include light therapy, psychotherapy, and medications. When prescribed light therapy or an antidepressant, let your doctor or mental health professional know if you have bipolar disorder

  • Light therapy. In light therapy, you sit a few feet from a special light box so that you are exposed to bright light within the first hour of waking up each day. Light therapy mimics natural outdoor light and appears to cause a change in brain chemicals linked to mood. Light therapy is one of the first-line treatments for fall-onset SAD. 
  • Psychotherapy. A type of psychotherapy known as cognitive behavioral therapy can help you learn healthy ways to cope with the condition, especially by reducing avoidance behavior and scheduling meaningful activities. It also enables you to identify and change negative thoughts and behaviors that may make you feel worse.
  • Medications. It may be recommended that you start taking an antidepressant before your symptoms typically appear every year. Amitriptyline is an antidepressant used for conditions like SAD. It works by increasing a chemical called serotonin in your brain. It can improve your mood.

Search by Name