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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

    H3LLSCRIVVER
    H3LLSCRIVVER posted in Friends:
    If it's one thing I'm crap at its maintaining friendships. I need some tips please help!
    reply about 7 hours
    StephRox
    StephRox posted in Family Issues:
    Sometimes you feel annoyed with a sibling and you just don't know the RIGHT way to deal with it. I'm telling you right now that all that tension, the trouble, the annoyance can stop. But it's up to you.  LITTLE SIBS  [s:p/1koi] My BEST trick is to ignore. Act like  you have no problem with them. And move on, they'll EVENTually give up, TRUST ME. I've tried on my littles sisters.  BIG SIBS  [s:p/1jmr-en] They can be a bit... SASSY I am one anyway but you need to NOT mess with t hem. Even if this is coming from one herself, act like you have NO problem and be kind to them, surprise surprise! They might listen.   [s:p/1kka] Ya friend and Advisor
    reply 1 day
    StephRox
    StephRox posted in Style:
    If you've ever thought your style wasn't right or you needd a style change think about how YOU want the new you to be like. It YOU anyway. What do you ENJOY wearing? What do you think will be most trendy? And maybe your parents might be like mine and might not APPROVE of your outfit. Think about you. Don't try to change to someone else but the new you  [s:p/1kk9] Your friend and advisor, 
    reply 1 day
    lion2a3
    lion2a3 posted in Family Issues:
    Well I say don't deal with your friend I mean comfort her and all but if she's doing all that I would leave her alone let her parents deal with it you guys are just kids ending your life isn't the solution and you seem like a really caring person but ####### help from the internet isn't to answer Tell her parents or let her see to see an therapist or something But don't let other people drag you down into depression 
    reply 2 days
    TJStar234
    TJStar234 posted in Friends:
    everybody at my school don't really like me! :( 
    reply 2 days