Understanding Seasonal Affective Disorder
What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder?
Who Gets SAD?
What Are the Symptoms?
- Depressed mood, feelings of sadness
- Cravings for sweet or starchy foods
- Significant weight gain
- Lack of energy
- Oversleeping or insomnia
- Social withdrawal
- Difficulty concentrating
- Decreased sexual desire
- Weight loss
- Poor appetite
How Does SAD Differ From Other Types of Depression?
What Causes SAD?
How Can SAD Be Treated?
What Is the First Step in Treating SAD?
National Alliance on Mental Illness http://www.nami.org
National Institute of Mental Health http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Canadian Psychiatric Association http://www.cpa-apc.org
Canadian Psychological Association http://www.cpa.ca
Golden RN, Gaynes BN, Ekstrom RD, et al. The efficacy of light therapy in the treatment of mood disorders: a review and meta-analysis of the evidence. Am J Psychiatry. 2005;162:656-662.
Lam RW, Levitt AJ, Levitan RD, et al. The Can-SAD study: a randomized controlled trial of the effectiveness of light therapy and fluoxetine in patients with winter seasonal affective disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry. 2006;163:805-812.
Rohan KJ, Roecklein KA, Tierney LK, Lacy TJ. A randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy, and their combination for seasonal affective disorder. Journal Consult Clin Psychol. 2007;75:489-500.
Seasonal affective disorder. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder.html. Updated September 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015.
Seasonal affective disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 19, 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015.
Seasonal affective disorder. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Inform%5FYourself/About%5FMental%5FIllness/By%5FIllness/Seasonal%5FAffective%5FDisorder.htm. Updated December 2012. Accessed January 5, 2015.
Seasonal affective disorder. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your%5Fmind/mental%5Fhealth/sad.html#. Updated May 2013. Accessed January 5, 2015.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 01/2015 -
- Update Date: 01/29/2015 -
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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