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Seasonal Affective Disorder and Light Therapy
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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that usually occurs at the onset of winter. The depletion on sunlight triggers SAD or the winter blues. Normally the symptoms that are related to SAD recur each year. The symptoms usually begin and finish at similar times each year. Although fall and winter are the most common times for SAD to occur some people have SAD symptoms early spring and summer.

SAD is most common in areas of the world that are further away from the equator, especially in the northern regions. Anyone can suffer from SAD but it mostly common in adults 20 Years old and older and in women.


These are common symptoms reported from people who suffer from SAD in the winter months:

  • Over sleep
  • Lethargic
  • Increased appetite for sweet foods
  • Weight gain
  • Avoid social settings
  • Irritable
  • Anxious
  • Low energy
  • Low self-esteem

These are symptoms of SAD in the spring time:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Periods of hypomania (over-activity)
  • Increased sex drive

If you only experience one of these symptoms at the on set of winter of spring it would be wise to visit a doctor to see if it related to Seasonal Affective Disorders.


Medical professionals believe that SAD is triggered by the decrease of sunlight a person is exposed to. To replenish the need for light people can purchase light boxes that are personally made for this purpose, this is called Light Therapy. A patient might be prescribed 30 minuets of daily light exposure from the box. If used correctly there are very few side effects. Side effects might include; headaches, eye strain, fatigue or inability to sleep if used too close to bed time.

Light Therapy Products?

Some doctors will prescribe light boxes but most light boxes can be found through the internet. There are many alternative health companies that supply a wide range of products but if you can find one that specializes in light therapy there will be a more variety and the seller will be more informative in helping you find the right light box. Before using light therapy meet with a doctor or therapist to discuss your symptoms to be sure light therapy will improve your situation.

By Worldwidehealth Editor
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