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What is seasonal affective disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that is associated with the start of a particular time of year. The vast majority of cases are associated with the start of winter.
What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?
The symptoms may be similar to those of depression and may include: feeling sad; feeling anxious; having feelings of worthlessness, guilt or hopelessness; becoming easily irritated or angry; losing interest in activities that normally …
What causes winter-onset seasonal affective disorder?
Although the exact cause of winter-onset seasonal affective disorder is not clear, it is thought to be due to changes in the levels of specific hormones and neurotransmitters in the brain and changes to the biological clock.
Who gets seasonal affective disorder?
Seasonal affective disorder is more common in younger adults and in women. There is also a genetic link to the condition, meaning that it tends to run in families.
How is seasonal affective disorder diagnosed?
The diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder is based on a person experiencing depressive-like symptoms for at least two years, with the symptoms being isolated to the specific season, i.e., winter-based seasonal affective disorder only causes …
How is seasonal affective disorder treated?
The main types of treatment for winter-onset seasonal affective disorder includes light therapy, lifestyle modifications and, in more severe cases, taking antidepressant medication.
What can be done at home to treat seasonal affective disorder?
To help manage the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder, apart from undertaking light therapy, lifestyle changes can be made that may include eating a balanced diet, seeking daily sunlight exposure, getting the right amount …
What is the outlook for seasonal affective disorder?
With proper treatment, seasonal affective disorder usually has a good outcome. Some people may need ongoing treatment, as their condition may persist throughout their lifetime.
About this article
Author: Dr Joanne Van der Velden PhD, BSc (Hons)
First answered: 10 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Votes: 1248 (Click smiley face below left to rate)
Category: Seasonal affective disorder