Seasonal Affective Disorder

Summarized by Plex Health
Last Updated: 03 May 2022

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of clinical depression that has a seasonal pattern. Similar to other types of anxiety, 2 of the primary symptoms of SAD are a low state of mind and a lack of passion in life. Other symptoms of SAD include: being less active than normal; sleeping more. SAD is often referred to as "winter season clinical depression" due to the fact that the symptoms are more evident and tend to be more severe right now of the year. The symptoms commonly start in the autumn as the days begin getting shorter. In many cases, the symptoms of SAD start to improve in the spring prior to vanishing. One theory is that light boosts a part of the brain called the hypothalamus which manages appetite, rest and mood. In people with SAD, an absence of sunshine and a trouble with particular brain chemicals quits the hypothalamus functioning appropriately. People with seasonal affective disorder have signs and symptoms of either significant depressive disorder or bipolar illness only during particular months of the year. The risk of SAD is higher in people that live much from the equator and those with a personal or family background of depression. Women are more likely than men to develop SAD, and more youthful people have a higher risk than older ones. The concept behind light therapy is to replace the decreased sunlight of the fall and winter season. In a number of studies, light therapy has had useful impacts on SAD symptoms comparable to those of medicine or CBT. Low degrees of vitamin D, caused by low nutritional intake of the vitamin or not enough exposure to sunlight, have been found in people with SAD. Single small research studies of vitamin B12 for therapy of SAD and Ginkgo biloba for avoidance of SAD did not discover that the supplements were beneficial.

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