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Doctor insights on: Seasonal Depression Seasonal Affective Disorder

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
4,676 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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What are some natural remedies for seasonal affective disorder?

Light: The most natural and best remedy for sad is bright light therapy, administered at about 10, 000 lux brightness (at a distance of 1.5 feet) for 30-45 minutes twice a day. There are no other proven natural therapies for sad, although evening melatonin has been helpful in a study or two. ...Read more

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Does melatonin play a role in seasonal affective disorder, and can it be used to treat it?

Does melatonin play a role in seasonal affective disorder, and can it be used to treat it?

Yes: Yes, Melatonin production in the body varies according to seasons, proximity to Equator etc. It can and does play a role in Seasonal affective disorder in a variety of ways. ...Read more

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Are any special tests needed, or can a regular doctor see me for my seasonal affective disorder?

Regular doctor: This is something to discuss with your primary care doctor. Sometimes tests will be ordered, but usually your regular doctor can recommend treatments ranging from increased exercise, to light therapy, to medications to help with this! ...Read more

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Will full spectrum light bulb for a regular lamp ward off symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

Will full spectrum light bulb for a regular lamp ward off symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

No: Using light therapy to tx sad is not that simple. The duration of time spent using a sad lamp, the time of day it is used, the consistency of use and a quality sad lamp are all critical factors in successfully using light to tx a seasonal depression.Check out http://northernlighttechnologies.Com/, a canadian company that has been around a long time. ...Read more

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How can I treat myself for seasonal affective disorder without having to go to the doctor or buy a special light?

How can I treat myself for seasonal affective disorder without having to go to the doctor or buy a special light?

Vitamin D?: Work to reduce stress levels through meditation, relaxation techniques, exercises. Try to get enough sleep. Vitamin D may have a potential role in treatment, but there is a lack of consistent research to satisfactory demonstrate that treatment improves SAD symptoms. Vitamin D doses used vary, by typically are between 400-800 IU/day. Hope this helps. Good luck! ...Read more

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Seasonal affective disorder AND I suffer anxiety(Believe anxiety comes from having MG and fear)BUT How can I deal with BOTH??

Seasonal affective disorder AND I suffer anxiety(Believe anxiety comes from having MG and fear)BUT How can I deal with BOTH??

The good news is: there is effective treatment for both, and you would be surprised how many people suffer with the same problems. First and foremost, make sure you are taking plenty of vitamin D. If your levels have never been checked, now is a good time. You need about 2000 IU year round daily. Next, there are SSRI & SNRI medications that are efective for both SAD and anxiety. Celexa, Zoloft &others.See your doc. ...Read more

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Can .5 mg Abilify (aripiprazole) be taken w/out my expensive lexapro? I have seasonal affective disorder and both of these meds are expensive.

Can .5 mg Abilify (aripiprazole) be taken w/out my expensive lexapro?  I have seasonal affective disorder and both of these meds are expensive.

Abilify (aripiprazole) or Lexapro: The answer is 'yes' you could take only the abilify, (aripiprazole) if you can only afford one medication. Generally, Abilify (aripiprazole) is rated as less effective than lexapro, so i would usually recommend taking just the Lexapro if you can only take one. Also Lexapro is now generic where is Abilify (aripiprazole) is still brand-name-only and more expensive. ...Read more