Tuesday, January 24, 2012

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Now that we have arrived into the depth of winter, a common complaint I hear in my office is that people are struggling with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Because this is reasonably common, and it's the more common season to struggle with this, I thought I would do a few posts on the topic.

Today I will simply address the question "What is Seasonal Affective Disorder"?

According to the Mayo Clinic, "seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at the same time every year. If you're like most people with seasonal affective disorder, your symptoms start i the fall and may continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, seasonal affective disorder causes depression in the spring or early summer" (source).

While SAD can occasionally occur in the spring/summer months, it is far more likely that people will experience this in the fall and winter. SAD is also known as the "winter blues" and is a feeling of sadness and depression during those months. Approximately 5% of the population struggles with SAD, although this number varies by state (Alaska would have a much higher percentage of people diagnosed with SAD then southern states, for example). Interestingly, "women are twice to three times more likely to suffer from the winter blues than men" (psychcentral).

Now it's your turn:
Have you ever heard of or experienced the winter blues? 

1 comment:

  1. Great post...we seem to be on the same wavelength this week as my blog posts have all been about SAD, vitamin D, food for winter blues. It's uncanny how streamlined the "real things that help" have become.

    Thanks for sharing and helping chase away the blues and other mental disorders. With continued effort we can reduce the pain and stigma.