It  is estimated that half a million Americans are negatively affected by the changing seasons and darkening of the summer light. They feel depressed, irritable, and tired.  Their levels decrease, and they find themselves in bed more often.  This depression disorder not only affects their health, but it also affects their everyday life, including their job performance and friendships.  This disorder is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately acronym-ed, SAD.

SAD is a mood disorder that affects an individual the same time each year, usually starting when hte weather becomes colder in September or October, and ends in April or May when the weather becomes warmer.  People with SAD feel depressed during the shorter days of winter, and more cheerful and energetic during the brightness of spring and summer.

  1. Between 60% and 90% of people with Sad are women.
  2. SAD is believed to relate more to daylight, not the temperature.
  3. SAD can be treated.  Light therapy has shown highly effective.  Studies prove that between 50% and 80% of light therapy users have complete remissions of symptoms.
  4. It takes more than just one winter depression to be diagnosed with SAD.
  5. SAD can be treated with certain medications that increase serotonin levels in the brain.  Such medications include antidepressants such as Paxil. Prozac, and Zoloft.
  6. If you have a friend or loved one who suffers from SAD, you can help them.  Spend more time with the person, remind them summer is only a season away. Go outside and do something together.