Essay On Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder is a form of depression brought about by shortened days and decreased sunlight during the winter season.The symptoms of SAD, which occur every winter like clockwork, include lack of energy, increased desire for sleep(especially during the day), larger appetite and weight gain.

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Insufficiency of vitamin D is associated with clinically significant depression symptoms.

There are several factors known to increase an individuals chance of developing SAD.

To be diagnosed with SAD, an individual must meet criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons for at least two years.

The individual must experience seasonal depressions much more frequently than any non-seasonal depressions.

His doctor ran many tests, but the results all came out normal.

Owens wound up seeing a psychiatrist, who diagnosed depression, and prescribed various stimulants and antidepressants.Less commonly, SAD occurs as a summer depression, typically beginning in the late spring or early summer and remitting in the fall.SAD may be related to changes in the amount of daylight a person receives.For example, SAD is more frequent in people who live far north or south of the equator.Additionally, people with a family history of other types of depression are more likely to develop SAD than people who do not have such a family history.To be diagnosed with SAD, the changes in mood should not be a direct result of obvious seasonal stressors (like being regularly unemployed during the winter).Usually, this form of depression is mild or moderate.Either type of SAD may also include some of the symptoms that occur in major depression, such as feelings of guilt, a loss of interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, ongoing feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, or physical problems such as headaches and stomach aches.Symptoms of SAD tend to recur at about the same time every year.Alternatively, people with SAD may have trouble regulating their levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood.Finally, research has suggested that people with SAD also may produce less Vitamin D in response to sunlight; vitamin D is believed to play a role in serotonin activity.

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