By: Chad Zawacki, PA-C
If you are an individual who notices changes in your mood and overall how you feel after the time change “falling back” every year you could be suffering from what millions suffer from every fall/winter which is commonly known as seasonal affective disorder aka “SAD.”
What is “SAD”?
This is a type of depression aka that is associated with a change in the type of season or time of the year most commonly being during the Fall/Winter months. The reason being is due to less sunlight that we are exposed to during those specific time frames during the year. Also during Fall and Winter months temperatures also typically plummet where most of us live making life not as enjoyable as one cannot go outside and do things as seldom like during the summer months.
What are the symptoms of “SAD”
- Fatigued more than normal
- over sleeping and not wanting to get out of bed
- weight gain
It is important to remember that these above symptoms are going to be experienced during the fall and winter months only.
Treatment of “SAD”
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a self limiting illness. Once Spring and Summer rolls around individuals start seeing an improvement in their symptoms. What one can do in the meantime is utilizing light therapy. This mimics natural sunlight and can be provided by special light boxes or simply just increasing the amount of UV light you are exposed to. Individuals usually start seeing improvement in their symptoms within a few days to a week. In extreme cases patients may need treatment with an antidepressant and should seek evaluation and treatment by a health care provider.
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