Seasonal Affective Disorder with its symptoms and treatments
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or Seasonal Depression is a form of depression that happens during the same time every year. Seasonal Affective Disorder can be caused by many things including changes in daylight hours and how much sunlight you get on a daily basis. This disorder affects up to 40% of people worldwide but most do not know they have it. This blog post will discuss Seasonal Affective disorder with symptoms and treatments for this condition.
It usually starts in late fall or early winter, when days grow shorter ∙Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, and irritability ∙Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy ∙Weight gain from overeating or difficulty sleeping due to increased appetite ∙Difficulty concentrating on tasks Treatments: There are many ways to treat seasonal affective disorder including light therapy, exercise, and antidepressants.
Symptoms of SAD
Seasonal Affective Disorder can be caused by many things including changes in daylight hours and how much sunlight you get on a daily basis. It usually starts in late fall or early winter, when days grow shorter ∙Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, anxiety and irritability ∙Loss of interest in activities you usually enjoy ∙Weight gain from overeating or difficulty sleeping due to increased appetite ∙Difficulty concentrating on tasks ∙Treatments: There are many ways to treat seasonal affective disorder including light therapy, exercise and antidepressants.
People who suffer from SAD may exhibit symptoms comparable to those of depression. It usually begin in the fall and winter. Symptoms include:
-Increased need for sleep, which can lead to insomnia or waking up an hour earlier than usual. Sleeping more doesn’t necessarily feel better because it’s not the right kind of sleep. People with SAD may experience unrefreshing naps early in the day that last longer than usual. Symptoms of Seasonal Affective disorder may include the following:
-depressed mood, most of the day for more days than not through out a period lasting at least two months.
-loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
-sleep too much/not enough (about 70% sleep longer during winter)
-weight gain or loss (about 50% of people with SAD experience weight changes)
-fatigue, tiredness, or lack energy
-feelings of worthlessness/guilt/hopelessness for more days than not through out a period lasting at least two months.
You may receive a diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder if you experience the symptoms listed above for at least two years during a period lasting at least two months.
Treatments of SAD
Treatments vary depending on your doctor, but may include light therapy and/or medication. Light Therapy is used to treat SAD with artificial bright lights that simulate sunlight. Taking Vitamin D supplements daily is also a good alternative treatment for SAD.
Treating SAD with light therapy
Light therapy is a treatment for SAD that uses artificial bright lights to simulate sunlight. The most common form of light therapy involves using a special lamp with a fluorescent, incandescent or LED bulb at an intensity between 2500 and 10000 LUX (the standard unit of measurement).
Treatment sessions last from 15-30 minutes, depending on the intensity of the light.
Light is very important to our bodies, so it’s always good to use during depressive episodes.
Treatment of SAD with medication.
There are also medications that may be used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. These include anti-depressant medication, sedatives and mood stabilizers.
Anti-depressant medication is a type of drug that treats symptoms of depression. They are one of the most common forms of treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms. There are many types and brands, but they usually fall into two classes: selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) or tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
Sedatives and mood stabilizers.
Sedatives are drugs that cause drowsiness and help you sleep. They may also be used to reduce anxiety or tension, relax your muscles, relieve pain, stop seizures (epilepsy), prevent nausea and vomiting after surgery, calm people who act abnormally for their mental state (psychosis) or treat mood disorders like Seasonal Affective Disorder.
There are many different types of mood stabilizers, but the most common is Lithium carbonate. Mood stabilizers help control a person’s highs and lows when it comes to their emotions. They work by balancing certain chemicals in your brain called neurotransmitters that send messages from one nerve cell to another, which helps keep you feeling stable.
Some examples of mood stabilizers are Carbamazepine, Valporic Acid and Lithium.
Conclusion: If you’ve been feeling down and unmotivated during the same time every year, you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder. This condition is characterized by symptoms such as lethargy or extreme fatigue, mood swings, overeating or craving sweets, irritability and insomnia.
Treatments vary depending on how severe of Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms are experienced by each individual patient. The most important thing is not letting Seasonal Affects disorder get in the way of living life and enjoying yourself during the colder months! We want to help!
Contact our doctors today for a free consultation about how we can treat Seasonal Affective disorder with medications that will work best for your body chemistry. You deserve to feel good again no matter what season it is!