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Doctor insights on: Seasonal Affective Disorder (Seasonal Depression)

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
4,663 doctors shared insights

Depression (Definition)

Depression is a mood disorder that can affect behavior and emotions. Symptoms of depression include feeling down most of the time, losing interest in previously enjoyable activities, increase or decrease in appetite or weight, sleeping more or less, becoming easily agitated or lethargic, feeling worthless, feeling guilty, having difficulty concentrating, thinking more about death and dying. Depression can sometimes result in suicidal thoughts and plans. In this case, emergent ...Read more


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Is seasonal affective disorder depression?

Is seasonal affective disorder depression?

Not by definition: It can lead to depression or aggravate an existing depression. They are considered to be two separate disorders but often coexist. It pays to treat sad early on so depression may be averted and if it occurs along with a depression it needs attention directly so depression treatment can be more effective. ...Read more

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How do I distinguish depression from seasonal affective disorder?

How do I distinguish depression from seasonal affective disorder?

Depression: There are a number of different types of depression, which sad is one. The distinguishing characteristics od sad include the seasonal and cyclical pattern of the depression, accompanied by loss of energy, increased appetite, low motivation and oversleeping. Other depressions can occur at any time during the year and do not improve necessarily as seasons change. ...Read more

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Can you experience physical pain with seasonal affective disorder? Or is that only with actual clinical depression?

Can you experience physical pain with seasonal affective disorder? Or is that only with actual clinical depression?

Sure you can: Physical pain experience is a pretty bad symptom to suffer and it's not necessarily part of any kind of depression diagnosis - but it can become part of any mental health problem. Our most vulnerable systems tend to play a part in the expression of these problems. If pain is your 'go to' - it will be a likely presence. Seek therapy - feel better. ...Read more

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Feel depressed when daylight savings time ends. Do I have seasonal affective disorder?

Feel depressed when daylight savings time ends.  Do I have seasonal affective disorder?

SAD: Sad is more prevalent in regions with colder darker wonters allowing for less interaction with other humans and the environment. You should be properly evaluated if you feel your symptoms are affecting your daily life pattern/routines. ...Read more

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How to know if I have seasonal affective disorder?

How to know if I have seasonal affective disorder?

By your symptoms: SAD symptoms usually occur with change in season (often fall and winter) & can include carbohydrate craving, increased appetite with weight gain, low energy level, irritability, moodiness, sleeping more, heavy feeling in extremities, being overly sensitive to rejection and it can impact relationships. ...Read more

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What are the tests for seasonal affective disorder?

What are the tests for seasonal affective disorder?

Tests?: There is no commercial laboratory study or imaging study that determines whether sad is present. There are a few rating scales that you could complete that would asdist a clinician in making that determination. Generally a thorough psych evaluation can determine its presence. The largest determining factor is. The telationsip of between the seasons and mood over the years. ...Read more

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What are the best seasonal affective disorder remmedies?

What are the best seasonal affective disorder remmedies?

SAD: SAD is now referred to as Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern in DSM 5. It is a subtype of depression. Treating seasonal affective disorder: Light therapy can be very effective. Psychotherapy and psychotropic medications can also be beneficial. Consider a tropical vacation when it is cold back home. See: ...Read more

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Dr. Jane Kang Dr. Kang
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What to do if that i may have seasonal affective disorder?

Dr. Jane Kang Dr. Kang
2 doctors agreed:
What to do if that i may have seasonal affective disorder?

Light in the winter: If you think you have seasonal affective disorder (depression in the fall and winter), you can do some things such as: make sure you spend as much time outside in the light, use indoor lights as much as possible, exercise daily, eat well especially foods with vitamin d. If you are still very depressed, you need to see a doctor about depression medications. ...Read more

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How to treat seasonal affective disorder?

Several options: Anti-depressant medications like fluoxetine, sertraline, & other ssris can be helpful to improve symptoms. Bupropion can prevent symptoms. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, light therapy (using specialized lamps), dawn stimulation or negative air ionization are also used. Modafinil has been shown in some studies to be effective for sad. Melatonin use in the afternoon and vitamin d also may help. ...Read more

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Are tanning beds good for people with seasonal affective disorder?

Are tanning beds good for people with seasonal affective disorder?

Tanning beds: Tanning beds are dangerous and are not a treatment for seasonal affective. However light therapy can be very effective in reducing SAD symptoms ...Read more

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Will going in a tanning bed help me with my seasonal affective disorder?

Will going in a tanning bed help me with my seasonal affective disorder?

Bad idea: There is a much safer way to treat seasonal depression. Only your eyeballs need the light, and they need it on schedule every morning. A light box that delivers at least 10, 000 lux for at least 20 minutes each morning through fall and winter is a much safer, and more effective, way to treat seasonal affective disorder that doesn't increase risk of skin cancer. ...Read more

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Could you tell me what's the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder?

SAD treatment: Seasonal affective disorder is thought to be related to seasonal decreases in sunlight exposure. One effective treatment for sad is light therapy. There are many products on the market. One that i think is well researched is phillips golite available through costco, amazon, and others. A psychologist or counselor who treats depression may help with any other contributing factors. ...Read more

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Can regular fluorescent ceiling lights help with seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal disorder: Light therapy is a way to treat seasonal affective disorder (sad) by exposure to artificial light. Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time each year, usually in the fall or winter.The light from a light box mimics outdoor light. This is thought to cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood. This is not the same light as fluorescent light. ...Read more

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Do you think I should go to the docs about my sad (seasonal affective disorder)?

Yes: If you are asking it is worth a consultation. If you are worried about your treatment, know that there are lots of different treatments and that you aren't obligated to do any of them. If you don't have insurance, or are worried about cost check into sliding scale psychotherapy or community clinics. Someone can point you in the direction that is best for you. Best wishes. ...Read more

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Is seasonal affective disorder something to be concerned about in warmer climates?

SAD: Seasonal affective disorder (also called 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 in 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. ...Read more

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