Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Do the dark days of late fall and winter make you feel sad? Well, these might just be seasonal affective disorder symptoms. 

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a type of depression that happens at the same time every year, usually in the winter. SAD, which is also called seasonal affective disorder, can affect your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy levels. It can also hurt your relationships, work, school, and sense of self-worth. You might feel like a totally different person than you do in the summer. You might feel hopeless, sad, tense, or stressed, and you might not care about your friends or the things you usually enjoy.

Even though some people get depressed in the summer, SAD usually starts in the fall or winter when the days get shorter and lasts until the days get longer again in the spring or early summer. SAD affects about 1% to 2% of the population, especially women and young people. A milder form of the winter blues may affect as many as 10% to 20% of the population.

SAD is most common in people who live at least 30 degrees north or south of the equator. This is because the amount of daylight you get in the winter changes the farther you are from the equator. No matter where you live or how dark and cold your winters are, the good news is that Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment is available.

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