seasonal depression is a mood disorder that happens every year at the same time. sad may affect 11 million people in the u.s. each year, and 25 million more may have a milder form called the winter blues. one theory is that less sunlight during fall and winter leads to the brain making less serotonin, a chemical linked to brain pathways that regulate mood. some people with sad have mild symptoms and feel out of sorts or cranky. people with sad typically sleep much more than usual and crave carbohydrates. they also have many of the normal warning signs of depression, including: the main feature of sad is that your mood and behavior shift along with the calendar. the type of treatment you get also depends on whether you have another type of depression or bipolar disorder.
many doctors recommend that people with sad get outside early in the morning to get more natural light. light affects the biological clock in our brains that regulates circadian rhythms, a physiological function that may include mood changes when there’s less sunlight in winter. the therapy starts with one 10- to 15-minute session per day. some people with sad recover within days of using light therapy. if the sad symptoms don’t go away, your doctor may increase the light therapy sessions to twice daily. the effects of daylight still help. if you feel depressed, fatigued, and cranky the same time each year, and these feelings seem to be seasonal in nature, you may have a form of sad. if your doctor recommends light therapy, ask if the practice provides light boxes for patients with sad.
in the diagnostic manual of mental disorders (dsm-5), this disorder is identified as a type of depression – major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern. the most difficult months for people with sad in the united states tend to be january and february. sad is more than just “winter blues.” the symptoms can be distressing and overwhelming and can interfere with daily functioning. as seasons change, people experience a shift in their biological internal clock or circadian rhythm that can cause them to be out of step with their daily schedule. sad is more common in people living far from the equator where there are fewer daylight hours in the winter. while symptoms will generally improve on their own with the change of season, symptoms can improve more quickly with treatment.
because of the anticipated return of symptoms in late fall, some people may begin light therapy in early fall to prevent symptoms. for some people, increased exposure to sunlight can help improve symptoms of sad. (however, exposure to uv light from the sun can increase your risk of skin cancer.and you should talk with your doctor about risks and benefits.) sad can be misdiagnosed in the presence of hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, infectious mononucleosis, and other viral infections, so proper evaluation is key. with the right treatment, sad can be a manageable condition. depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act.
created for family members of people with alcohol abuse or drug abuse problems. answers questions about substance abuse, its symptoms, different this type of depression is related to changes in seasons and begins and ends at about the same times every year. seasonal depression, also called seasonal affective disorder (sad), is a form of depression. it’s triggered by the change of seasons,, .
this fact sheet provides information about seasonal affective disorder (sad), a type of depression. it includes a description of sad, signs and symptoms, seasonal affective disorder, a type of mood disorder, can occur in late fall to early winter or late spring to early summer. during specific seasons – usually winter, but not always – a person experiences anxiety and depression for no obvious reason, other than the change in the, .
When you try to get related information on seasonal anxiety, you may look for related areas. .