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
- Changes in diet
- Learning to manage stress
- Going to a sunny location during the cold months
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- Mayo Clinic
- The Mayo Clinic's website provides a definition of seasonal affective disorder, and information on treatment, coping and support, and more.
- This site, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, includes links to helpful information on SAD, including overviews of SAD and treatment.
- 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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