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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

    EndlessDream
    EndlessDream posted in Style:
    You need breakfast and lunch. Starving yourself, even if you aren't hungry, makes you loose energy to the point you could pass out from not eating. Keep your diet healthy. For breakfast, at least have yogurt, fruit, and juice. Drink at least 4 full glasses of water a day. Trim down on the snacks. Everyone has different bodies and build. You may just be large-boned. And that's not bad! That makes you stronger and higher ability to gain muscle. Loosing weight doesn't happen over night. It can take months. 
    reply about 7 hours
    Nekogirl101
    Nekogirl101 posted in Style:
    For years my parents would tell me I'm skinny but compared to other people, my waist was bigger and I would always hide it. Though it was obvious I weighed more, I've only been doing this for a week and I didn't ever tell anyone what I was doing until my parents found out. I would skip lunch and breakfast and say I was full. I only ate a big dinner every night. Once my parents found out, they said it was unhealthy and if I didn't  stop, I would develop an eating disorder. I obviously listened to them, but I've tried as best as I can so far. I have barely lost any weight from exercise and my parents won't let me go on a diet because I already 'eat healthy enough'. I want to lose weight without exercising being 3/4s of my lifestyle. I know, I'm a lazy idiot for saying all this.
    reply about 8 hours
    rainbowpoptart
    Yes, purely for the fact that you should not "hate" your sister (or anyone, for that matter).  I'm guessing by "get in trouble for her", you mean she does something wrong and the blame is all put on you? Yeah, little siblings tend to do that a lot. My brother did for the longest time, until my parents found out how much a liar he is. She, hopefully, will grow out of this eventually. Either that, or your parent[s]/guardian[s] will eventually see through her. You lose your friends to her? By this do you mean your friends want to hang out with her and they want you to tag along and you don't? Or do you mean your friends chose your sister over you? If it's the latter, then perhaps you shouldn't have ever referred to those people as friends. You'll find friends who'll prefer you over your sister, I'm sure of it. The only thing I can tell you to do is try to get along with your sister. Every group of siblings has their cats and dogs moment in life, but they grow out of it (most of the time; there are, of course, circumstances where it doesn't work out that way). Please be grateful for your sister, even if you two fight a lot. You never know how much you need something until it's gone.
    reply 1 day
    liddielover
    i hate my little sister because i get introuble for her and lose my friends to her.is that wrong?
    reply 1 day
    skylar245
    skylar245 posted in Friends:
    "rainbowpoptart" wrote: "skylar245" wrote: Teacher said to wait for the Bus Driver and the counselor, she just talks to me and doesn't tell The Princible Then maybe try telling the principal yourself, and you should also report that the driver, teacher, and counselor haven't done anything to help you. If that fails, tell another trusted adult, like your mother. I'm sure someone you're close to would do their best to get justice. This is a major problem and it's a shame no one's done anything to help. ​No one listens to me anyway but my friends
    reply 3 days