Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Taking a Look into Seasonal Affective Disorder


Do you ever feel as though current weather conditions can affect your mood? Well this seemingly causal occurrence is an actual occurrence. This change in mood is called Seasonal Affective Disorder [SAD]. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is defined by the Mayo Clinic as: 

"Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.
Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), psychotherapy and medications.
Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year."
Seasonal Affective Disorder is considered a "sub-type" of major depression--but there are differences between the two. Lets take a look and compare the symptoms between these.
According to the Mayo Clinic the following can be symptoms of SAD versus major depression:

Fall and winter SAD

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:
  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, "leaden" feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

Spring and summer SAD

Symptoms specific to summer-onset seasonal affective disorder, sometimes called summer depression, may include:
  • Depression
  • Trouble sleeping (insomnia)
  • Weight loss
  • Poor appetite
  • Agitation or anxiety
VERSUS

Major depression

Seasonal affective disorder is a subtype of major depression that comes and goes based on seasons. So symptoms of major depression may be part of SAD, such as:
  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Feeling hopeless or worthless
  • Having low energy
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Continue reading up on Seasonal Affective Disorder below on the following topics:

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