Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, is a certain kind of depression that happens to individuals the same time each year. Most notably, SAD occurs in the fall and winter months, and can cause depression, irritability and mood swings.

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Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder

  1. 1. www.helpingpsychology.com Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder
  2. 2. www.helpingpsychology.com Seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD , is a certain kind of depression that happens to individuals the same time each year. Most notably, SAD occurs in the fall and winter months, and can cause depression, irritability and mood swings. http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/images/370x270_sad.jpg
  3. 3. www.helpingpsychology.com The signs and symptoms of the disorder will fluctuate between severe and mild depending on the proximity to the affective season. http://www.shockmd.com/wp-content/istock_000004558962xsmall.jpg
  4. 4. www.helpingpsychology.com Winter seasonal affective disorder includes symptoms of depression and hopelessness, may bring on panic attacks, cause social withdrawal, lack of energy and cause appetite changes, especially weight gain. Symptoms of SAD in the summer months are similar, but include a decreased sex drive and anxiety attacks. http://www.dascot.org/depression/images/sad.JPG
  5. 5. www.helpingpsychology.com The cause of seasonal affective disorder is not completely known. However, genetics, age and the body’s chemical makeup may all play a role in the condition. Other factors include the amount of sunlight that occurs in the winter months, as less sunlight can disrupt the body’s internal clock, leading to feelings of depression, as well as other symptoms.
  6. 6. www.helpingpsychology.com A drop in the levels of serotonin, the brain chemical responsible for a person’s mood, may also cause SAD . Risk factors for seasonal affective disorder include living farther away from the equator and a family history of the disorder. http://draletta.typepad.com/.a/6a00d83527e90e69e20120a647d628970c-500pi
  7. 7. www.helpingpsychology.com Those who live farther north or south from the Earth’s equator do not get as much sunlight in the winter months, which can contribute to SAD . Treatment begins with talking to a family doctor or psychologist, especially before symptoms become extreme. http://img.webmd.com/dtmcms/live/webmd/consumer_assets/site_images/articles/health_tools/depression_overview_slideshow/getty_rm_photo_of_trees_in_winter.jpg
  8. 8. www.helpingpsychology.com Medications are often prescribed for depression symptoms, such as Zoloft, Prozac or Paxil. The antidepressant Wellbutrin is known to be very effective. http://i.ehow.com/images/GlobalPhoto/Articles/4698452/SADgirlwinter-main_Full.jpg
  9. 9. www.helpingpsychology.com Psychotherapy may also be used to treat SAD , as it helps the patient learn how to identify their problems and manage stress. http://www.yourhealthandlongevity.com/images/winter_nature.jpg
  10. 10. www.helpingpsychology.com Phototherapy is a simple treatment with very few side effects, but has not been proven to completely cure SAD . Another treatment is light therapy, also known as phototherapy . During a phototherapy session, the patient sits a couple of feet from a special light so that they are exposed to a brighter light source than the outdoors.
  11. 11. www.argosy.edu www.HelpingPsychology.com Helping Psychology Is Sponsored By

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