Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder - PDF Document

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  1. Seasonal Affective Disorder Seasonal Affective Disorder What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? What is Seasonal Affective Disorder? •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. •About 20 percent of Americans have the winter blues as the days get noticeably shorter. •The winter blues is more common and less severe than SAD •An estimated 14 million people in the United States suffer from SAD What causes SAD? What causes SAD? •Experts believe that SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight. Lack of light may upset your sleep-wake cycle and other circadian rhythms. It also causes problems with a brain chemical called serotonin that affects mood. Serotonin, the brain chemical involved in feeling satisfied, may decrease when there is less daylight. What are the symptoms? What are the symptoms? If you have SAD or just the winter blues, you may: •Feel sad, grumpy, moody, or anxious •Lose interest in your usual activities •Eat more and crave carbohydrates, such as bread and pasta •Gain weight •Sleep more and feel drowsy during the daytime For most people with SAD, symptoms start in September or October and end in April or May. Symptoms come and go at about the same time each year. How is it treated? How is it treated? •Light therapy (phototherapy) is exposure to light that is brighter than indoor light but not as bright as direct sunlight. •Light therapy may help with depression, jet lag, and sleep disorders. It may help reset your "biological clock" (circadian rhythms), which controls sleeping and waking. Typically, you sit in front of a high-intensity fluorescent lamp for 30 minutes to 2 hours. A strong dose of light from a specialized light unit can often lessen winter depression symptoms.

  2. Does it work? Does it work? •75% of SAD sufferers experience improvement when using light therapy. •Light therapy mimics outdoor light and causes a biochemical change in your brain that lifts your mood, relieving symptoms of SAD. •Light therapy also suppresses the brain’s production of melatonin. The sun is shining in the library The sun is shining in the library •A convenient study space offering full spectrum lights is now available to enhance your library experience! This “bright” study space may be just what you need to improve your mood and increase your energy! These lights are located on the second floor of the library just past Minnesota Studies, the lights are situated above study stations. So if you’re in the library, consider studying for a while in a “sunny” spot! Full S Full Sp pectrum Li ectrum Lig ghts hts