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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

    Related Stories

    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

    drowning
    "SatanslilDemon" wrote: Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice??? It's really nice that your mother supports it, that always helps!! I'm glad that your family enjoys his company as well. Being 16 while he's 20 is alright. It's a slight odd age gap. But, I think as long as you both are ready, it's alright. Make sure you're mature and safe with your choices though. Personally, I think you should wait until you're closer to at least, 17. But, as long as you two are smart about what you're doing, it should be alright when it come around to it.
    reply about 11 hours
    fitta
    "Shygirl15" wrote:I really like this boy in my second period class but i dont know how to tell him because he knows that im transgender do whatever makes you feel comfortable or just wing it and tell him and if he tells you something because you're trans forget about him! He doesn't deserve you. But it's totally okay if you want to play it safe and not go up to him. You do you. :3 
    reply about 12 hours
    fitta
    "SatanslilDemon" wrote: Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice??? i suggest you wait i mean you are going to be 16 that's way too young to be dating someone who is 4/5 years older than you,no? You can still talk to him when it comes to your anxiety attacks and all of that because I have those too every night so I know how it feels, but maybe you should wait. But at the end of the day it's your decision I'm just here to give advice 
    reply about 12 hours
    SatanslilDemon
    Ok so I have a dilemma. I really, and I mean really like this guy. He's considerate of my mental wellbeing and health, plus he's really funny and sweet. He's respectful, loyal, and his hugs are the best ever(he's like a foot and 4 inches taller than me). the dilemma is, he'stwentyandI'mfifteenturningsixteensoon.... I'm not gonna even ask about dating him until i'm sixteen but I've called him in total anxiety attack crying my eyes out and he calmed me down and made me laugh, and I invited him to come see a choir performance so he spent the day with me... My mom ships us... but I'm a little worried because of the age difference  and experience difference and just, I don't want to miss the chance of being with him because of it. ​  any advice???
    reply about 13 hours
    SmartSunnyShadow
    I feel like that too. My best friend will always hang out with her 'new friends' that I have a really bad opinion about. My friend will treat me rudely all the time and sometimes make fun of me with her friends. But, when I needed her the most in my life, she was there for me, and I told her how I felt. She says that she just wants to hang out with more people and apologized, people can be a little teasy at times.  Also, after seeing each other for a long time, people make new friends and start hanging out with them more, it doesn't mean that she doesn't like you.  This may be different for you, but just tell her about it, she will have to know you feelings at one point.  Hope I helped you. 
    reply about 19 hours