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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): The Basics  

 

You may notice you’re feeling blue.  You’re not quite as chipper as you used to be.  You try to ignore these feelings, 

figuring the cold weather of winter is just beginning to bring you down.

Well, you’re half right.  Winter seems sometimes to get the best of us, especially if you live in the colder climates.  The days are shorter and the nights are longer – and there’s the crux of your problems.

Those short days and long nights may trigger feelings of not only depression and fatigue, but also lethargy and other health problems. While you may be tempted to ignore these feelings, there are times, if they are severe enough to disrupt your daily activities, that you really shouldn’t.

You may be one of the 10 million Americans who suffer with seasonal affective disorder – appropriately known by its initials SAD. It’s a type of depression and if left untreated can seriously disrupt your daily life. However, there are simple remedies that can lessen the symptoms.

Technically, SAD is actually a subtype of a major depressive episode.  The classic symptoms of depression include a decreased appetite, problems sleeping, a poor appetite and a corresponding loss in weight. Recognized  in the DSM-IV, The American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, SAD affects more women than men. 

About 70 to 80 percent of those affected with seasonal affected disorder are women.  Most people first develop this depression when they’re in their 30s, but some children have also been found to be affected by this disorder.

Some health experts estimate that for every person who is actually diagnosed with a “full blown” case of SAD, there are many more people who have a milder case of SAD whose symptoms have not been diagnosed.  As you might expect, the incidence of SAD increases the farther north one travels.  But, this trend doesn’t continue all the way up to the North Pole.

Unlike many disorders, this one may indeed be geographical in nature.  But there is no clear cut geographical lines, it seems.  It all depends on the reactions of the individuals. There have been instances of people who feel fine while they live in Maryland.  When they move to say a more northern city, like Toronto, Canada, they develop SAD. And the opposite is true as well.  A person who lives in Baltimore, Maryland may be diagnosed with SAD, but when she moves farther south to Miami her symptoms disappear naturally.

 

 


Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Home
Subscribe!
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Site Features

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Mother Books
Cartoons!
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Links
Birth Stories
Site Map
Advertising

Contact Us


Birth, Joy, & Raspberry Leaves
-a new video compiled by Catherine and Amanda Young
of The Compleat Mother

Go HERE for more information on the waterbirth video!


Click here to read: The Farmer and the Obstetrician

Click here for the Home Sweet Homebirth (Video)

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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