The summer has ended, autumn has taken over and winter is looming, many people suffer from a type of depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD is related to the changes in the seasons. Research has found that it begins and ends at roughly the same times every year. Many people who suffer with season affective disorder find their symptoms start int he fall and continue and at times worsen through the winter months. SAD may lower your energy and many people find they become moody. Rarely does SAD cause depression as we change into the spring or early summer. Roughly 2 to 3% of North Americans will experience SAD in their lifetime. Research has found that up to 15% will suffer a milder form of SAD that leaves them slightly depressed but still able to live life without an major disruptions. SAD makes up nearly 10% of all depression cases.
Research has found that adults are a higher risk of SAD as opposed to children and teenagers. The risk of SAD declines after the age of 50. Researchers are doing more studies to find out why. Women seem to be more likely to experience seasonal affective disorder. Research suggests that women may be at risk of SAD by nearly 9 times more than men. Living in a more northern country or city raises your risk of SAD. The farther away from the equator you live, the more at risk you are from SAD. Research believes that the amount of daylight you get as you move north changes, and that change may be a part of SAD.
If you think you are suffering with SAD, speak with your doctor. Your doctor can assist with treatments that would be the best for your condition. It is also important to speak with your doctor to rule out other explanations for the symptoms you have. Your doctor will help you with the treatment path that would be best such as light therapy which involves sitting near a special kind of light for 30 minutes a day. The light causes a chemical change in the brain that improves mood and symptoms. Up to 80% of people with SAD have found great relief from the use of the light therapy. Cognitive behavior therapy has been found to be effective in treating the symptoms of SAD. A therapist can help to teach skills that help to change the view of the world around the person suffering from SAD. Medication has been used to treat SAD. Your doctor can best find the proper medication to relieve the symptoms. Research has also found that self help is an effective way to battle SAD. A healthy diet, exercise, good sleep habits and staying connected to friends is a beneficial way to treat SAD. Managing stress is another helpful way to alleviate some symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.