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What you should know about Seasonal Affective Disorder

rainy, cloudy day

Everyone feels a little sad during the winter months. You might have a few days where you have a hard time getting out of bed and going to work or out with friends, and you might have times when you just can’t get motivated to do anything. When those winter blues begin taking over your life and keep you from doing the things that you want to do, you might have a more series condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD.

Signs of SAD

SAD is a mental disorder characterized by many of the same symptoms as depression. Often marked by feelings of intense sadness, you might find that they symptoms start in the late autumn and continue throughout the winter and into the spring. Those feelings of sadness can eventually affect your life in many ways, including changing the way you think about your favorite activities and making it hard for you to engage with others. Symptoms of SAD may also include changes in your sleep patterns, changes in appetite, reduction in sexual activities, disinterest in hobbies and loved ones and concentration difficulties.

Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder

Experts believe that SAD occurs due to a lack of sunlight. When the weather is nice and the temperature is high, you don’t think twice about heading outside for some fun with your loved ones. Once the temperature drops and winter sets in, you might find that you can’t even get motivated to leave the house long enough to go to the grocery store. One common treatment for SAD is light therapy. The belief behind light therapy is that the body will absorb the artificial light and transform it into nutrients that the body needs. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may also suggest antidepressants. Using a combination of medication and light therapy can help you recover from those winter blues and feel better about yourself during those long winter months and beyond.

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