Seasonal Depression Disorder

Seasonal Depression Disorder

Seasonal depression disorder, otherwise known as “SAD” is a type of depression that appears around the winter time of the year. And although not as common, it can also show up in the other seasons as well. People who have ‘SAD’, will experience the depression symptoms at the same time of the year every year until they are treated for their condition. Recently, researchers have found that around 5% of the U.S. population suffers from the seasonal depression disorder, and furthermore the majority of these sufferers are women. The exact causes of this disorder is not fully understand, but studies have suggested that the amount of sunlight that is available to a person is connected to them having developed this disorder. It is suspected that the amount of sunlight that a person receives affects their mood, hormones, and the internal biological clock that control the other chemical balances in the body.

Seasonal depression disorder symptoms centers around fatigue, tiredness, inability to concentrate, irregular sleep patterns, and moodiness. All these things will contribute to a person feeling very depressed and exhibit all the typical symptoms of depression. Constant tiredness and fatigue can sometimes be a good sign that a person may be suffering from the early stages of ‘SAD’ because their regular sleep cycle may be interrupted. People who are diagnosed with this condition will very often also have a disrupted circadian cycle where there body will follow an irregular sleep pattern. They might have over eight hours of sleep a night, yet still feel extremely sluggish and tired only a few short hours after they’ve awaken up for the day. If a person is showing signs of constant fatigue and tiredness and displays all the usual depression symptoms, then it is best to make the person aware of the potential condition that they might have.

Seasonal Depression Disorder

Currently, people who are diagnosed with seasonal depression disorder are treated in one of four ways; only light therapy, light therapy with anti-depressant medication, anti-depression medication and some physical therapy, and using only anti-depressant medication. In some of the more milder cases of ‘SAD’, the use of anti-depressant medication alone should be able to allow a person’s body to regain its inner balance and take them out of their depressive state.

Many people are already aware of what anti-depressant medications are and the fact that they are administered and prescribed by a physician. However, not many people are fully aware of what a light therapy actually is. So what exactly is light therapy for those who are diagnosed with ‘SAD’? Light therapy is also known as phototherapy. It is a therapy process which uses a simple lamp that emits far more lumens than your average lamp. Essentially the purpose of this lamp is to mimic the brightness of the outdoors when the sun is shining. The way this type of therapy work is that once the lamp is turned on, a patient will be sitting at a certain distance from it (as prescribed by their doctor) and stay awake, alert, and with their eyes open (though not staring directly into the lamp itself) for approximately 30 minutes per session. This type of treatment usually shows the most success and with the greatest result when it is administered during the morning hours.

Seasonal Depression Disorder

Light therapy has proven to be quite successful as a seasonal depression disorder treatment. In many cases, patients will show great improvements within a week and will fully rebalance their circadian cycle and be cleared of their depression symptoms within a month of therapy.

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