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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Overview

Some people experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Though symptoms can be severe, they usually clear up. This condition is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It usually happens during the winter. A less common type of SAD happens in the summer.

What causes SAD? Some experts think it's a lack of sunlight during winter, when the days are shorter. In the United States, it is much more common in northern states. Light therapy, in which patients use a special type of light, often helps. Other treatments include

  • Medication
  • Changes in diet
  • Learning to manage stress
  • Going to a sunny location during the cold months

Source: MedlinePlus

Note: This topic was prepared to help consumers find reliable health resources on the web. This site is not responsible for the information on other sites. The information here — and on all websites — is not intended to be a substitute for care given to you by a health professional.

Recommended Reading

Mayo Clinic
The Mayo Clinic's website provides a definition of seasonal affective disorder, and information on treatment, coping and support, and more.

MedlinePlus
This site, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, includes links to helpful information on SAD, including overviews of SAD and treatment.

Local Resources

Connections
Mental Health Connections, a project of the Health District and SummitStone Health Partners, offers information on mental health and substance abuse, as well as referrals to local counselors, treatment programs, classes, support groups and other services.

Search for a Mental Health Provider, HealthInfoSource.com
Search for a therapist or other mental health professional in the greater Fort Collins area.

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