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Are You Blue? You Might Have SAD

Do you feel depressed in the winter, even though you're fine during all the other seasons? Before you diagnose yourself with Seasonal Affective Disorder, find out what it's all about right here.

Seasonal Affective Disorder - What Is SAD?

There are lots of things that can make you sad. You can feel sad cuz the cutie you were crushin' on doesn't like you back. You can be sad cuz you got a C- on a pop quiz you thought you had aced. Or, you can be sad cuz the school bully made a mean joke and hurt your feelings. But, none of these examples means that you're sad in the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) type of way. SAD is a form of depression that only lasts for a few months each winter.

Seasonal Affective Disorder - What Causes SAD?

You know it's winter when the weather turns cold and gloomy and the nights seem longer cuz daylight hours are shorter. It may not be a big deal for most people, but for some, this lack of light triggers hormones in the brain. When it’s dark, your body produces more melatonin, which is connected to sleep, and less serotonin, which is connected to mood. That's why SAD sufferers feel sleepy and depressed. But when spring rolls around and the sun shines and daylight hours get longer, SAD symptoms go away and people return to their usual mood.

Seasonal Affective Disorder - What Are the Symptoms of SAD?

  • Low energy
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in mood, like feeling irritable or more sensitive
  • Changes in eating habits, especially cravings for carbs and sugary foods
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder - How Is SAD Treated?

    Since SAD is caused by a lack of sunlight, you'll need to increase your exposure to light to help make symptoms go away. Your doctor may recommend that you spend time outside during the day, or even travel to somewhere sunny and tropical! But if jetting off to Mexico isn't an option, SAD may be treated with light therapy. It mimics daylight by using a special light box, so you'll sit in front of it for a certain amount of time every day. Prescription medication is another way of treating SAD. Antidepressants can regulate the balance of serotonin in the brain to give you that boost of energy and elevate your mood.

    Seasonal Affective Disorder - Did U Know?

  • SAD can affect people of all ages, but hits the most in the twenties.
  • SAD is more common in northern countries like Sweden and Norway, where winter days are shorter.
  • SAD is more common in women than men.
  • Natalie Imbruglia once suffered from SAD while staying in London, England.
  • Related Stories:

  • Winter Solstice
  • Winter Blah Busters
  • Daylight Saving Time
  • Get the 411 on Teen Depression
  • More Health and Body Facts!
  • 3 Comments

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    Poll 1

    Do You Ever Get Depressed?

    • Yeah, I'm depressed all the time.
    • Sure, when I have a bad day at school or something.
    • I get depressed when the sun doesn't shine.
    • I'm never depressed - there's too much to be happy about!

    Dear Dish-It In The Forums

    Abbergrl
    OMG IT is. It is and please don't disagree when I say it's the most annoying thing ever. Of course I know better than to date online. I don't trust long distance relationships, not even when it comes to friends. Though I like to believe kw keeps us all connected (: But it's possible, and I dislike this fact /: Here I go. Now I have put ideas into people's heads... way to go...
    reply about 11 hours
    Abbergrl
    I seriously have no idea and have spent a lot of time wondering about this but honestly, it makes me so angry.
    reply about 12 hours
    ImagineOrdinary
    Uh, I don't see why you need to 'come out' to them...?
    reply 2 days
    ImagineOrdinary
    I think you can still get cold chills if you aren't cold  or it might be mild turrets 
    reply 2 days
    smiggle0890
    my last serious relationship was when I was 13 and now im 17
    reply 2 days