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 or loss
- 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?
- Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
- Sertraline (Zoloft)
- Fluoxetine (Prozac)
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 24, 2013.
Seasonal affective disorder. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated December 19, 2012. Accessed January 24, 2013.
Seasonal affective disorder. National Alliance on Mental Illness website. Available at: http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Seasonal%5FAffective%5FDisorder%5F(SAD).htm. Updated February 2004. Accessed January 24, 2013.
Seasonal affective disorder. Nemours Kids Health website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your%5Fmind/mental%5Fhealth/sad.html#. Updated October 2010. Accessed January 24, 2013.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 01/2013 -
- Update Date: 01/24/2013 -
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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