Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression that occurs during the same season each year. Presentation of SAD is similar to those with Major Depressive Disorder. Symptoms may include:
- Persistent low mood
- Low energy
- Problems sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Difficulty concentrating
- A sense of hopelessness
- Suicidal thoughts
There are both winter and summer presentations of SAD. This includes somnolence during the winter, and insomnia during the summer. It should be noted that those suffering from Major Depressive Disorder appear to be at greater risk of SAD. As a result, many have questioned the reality of SAD as a clinical diagnosis.
SAD is caused by changes in light, resulting in increases or decreases in melatonin secreted by the Pineal Gland. This natural process is part of each individuals circadian rhythm.
For in-depth information on SAD, check out the following articles at Finding My Psych:
- "Seasonal Affective Disroder Getting you Down? Mater These Techniques!"
- "Suicide and Seasonal Patterns (Three Studies)"