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Information About Seasonal Affective Disorders

Aug 15, 2008
SAD, also known as winter depression, is a new disorder sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter or less frequently in the summer repeatedly, year after year. It is estimated that 10 million Americans almost 6% of the population have had SAD. As stated by the US national Library of medicine:

"Some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up."

When this condition happens in the summer is often referred to as reverse seasonal affective disorder.

Some of the other symptoms of SAD in adults include: sadness or anxiety, tiredness and fatigue, weight gain, carbohydrate cravings, decreased energy, withdrawal from friends and family, difficulty concentrating, and appetite changes. Symptoms in children include: irritability, difficulty getting out of bed, or problems in school. It is said that Seasonal Affective Disorders are related to the amount of light is absorbed through the eyes. Thus the reasoning behind Seasonal Affective Disorders happening more in the winter months specifically within October or November.

Several different drugs can be used if you are experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorders but one of the most effective treatments consist of using a light box with high intensity fluorescent lights, this is called light therapy. It has been said that light therapy works tremendously with SAD, the symptoms of SAD can subside within as little as a few days or a few weeks. The treatment usually takes 30 minutes to two hours per day of sitting in front of the light box, when patients are in front of a light box you can read eat or talk. However, light therapy hasn't been officially approved as a treatment by the FDA because of its lack of evidence about its effectiveness.

Other forms of affective disorder, are mood disorder, bipolar, depression, and schizophrenia. These forms of affective disorder as well as SAD can include the following treatments: medication, air reception, cognitive behavioral therapy, and carefully timed sublimation of the hormone melatonin. The United States is not the only country to have problems with affective disorders. The following countries also have inhabitants that have complained of these disorders; Nordic countries, 20%, Iceland's 2000 people, and Ireland at 20%.

The National Institute of Mental Health's Depression Awareness, Recognition and Treatment (D/ART) program is meant to educate people on the symptoms and treatments for various forms of depression including SAD. For a free brochure on SAD call and I am each at 1-800-421-4211. For more information about SAD and other forms of depression. Contact your local Mental Health Association which can be found by looking online for Mental Health Association and your state.

As well as the information above, you can also look into these books;

Affective dis-orders: psychoanalytic contributions to their study, by Phyllis Greenacre.

Handbook of affective disorders, second edition by Eugene S Paykel

Positive options for seasonal affective disorder as a key: self-help and treatment by Fiona Marshall and Peter Cheevers.

Winter blues, revised edition: everything you need to know to beat seasonal affective disorder by Norman E. Rosenthal.

Seasonal affective disorder-a medical dictionary, bibliography, and a noted research guide to Internet references by Icon
Health Publications

Seasonal affective disorder for dummies by Laura L. PhD Smith and Charles H. Ph.D. Elliott
About the Author
This author is a huge fan of Affective.com website where you can watch 1000s of videos on seasonal affective disorder.
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