March 28, 2008, Newsletter Issue #134: Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Tip of the Week

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is caused by a change in the sunlight the body receives. It causes depression in people who may not realize what exactly changed their mood. It is often called winter depression.

The symptoms include typical signs of depression. This includes:

Sleeping more than normal (a change of several hours more than usual)
Weight gain
Feelings of hopelessness
Irritable or feelings of being angry, with no underlying cause

The key symptom of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is when the symptoms appear. The symptoms occur during the winter months and subside in the spring and summer. Most people who are officially diagnosed with SAD have symptoms for at least two winters in a row and have far fewer or no symptoms during the summer months.

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