The causes and effects of seasonal affective disorder

Medication requires patience, because it can take several weeks before you begin to feel the effects. You may need to try several different antidepressant medications before finding the one that improves your symptoms without causing problematic side effects.

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The low levels are usually due to insufficient dietary intake or insufficient exposure to sunshine. And SAD occurs more frequently in younger adults than in older adults. The exact causes of SAD are unknown. No medical or laboratory test is available for diagnosing this condition. Persons with seasonal affective disorder experience the symptoms at a particular time of year. Family history Having close relatives with a history of other types of depression can increase the likelihood that SAD may develop. Last Updated: Aug 25, You may also like:. People can attend group or partner sessions of CBT. Related coverage. Symptoms of depression may worsen seasonally if you have one of these conditions. Here are a few options to explore with your doctor. Researchers have yet to uncover the specific cause for SAD. Personal history of depression People with a history of depression or bipolar disorder , as well as those who currently have either of these conditions, are more likely to develop SAD. It binds to a particular protein to travel around the body. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical neurotransmitter that affects mood, might play a role in SAD.

With any mental health problem, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. Symptoms of SAD may include Sadness Feeling hopeless, worthless, and irritable Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy Low energy Carbohydrate cravings and weight gain Thoughts of death or suicide SAD is more common in women, young people, and those who live far from the equator.

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This decrease in sunlight may disrupt your body's internal clock and lead to feelings of depression. This device produces similar effects to natural light, triggering chemicals in your brain that help regulate your mood.

seasonal affective disorder symptoms

The idea behind light therapy is to replace the sunshine that you miss during the fall and winter months. Serotonin levels.

seasonal affective disorder treatment
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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Symptoms & Treatment