S.A.D.

S.A.D. stands for Seasonal affective disorder. According to the NIMH SAD is "characterized by the onset of depression during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight." SAD affects over three million people in United States every year, many of whom may not even receive a diagnosis.  The US National Library of Medecine states that, "10-20 percent of recurrent depression cases follow a seasonal pattern." Although many go without a professional diagnosis, it is easily self-diagnosable. A person with SAD may notice that in the winter months they develop insomnia, weight loss or gain, fatigue, mood swings, anger, loss of interest, sadness, restlessness and anxiety (courtesy of mayoclinic.org).

Luckily for those suffering from SAD, there are immediate treatments available instead of waiting for summer to arrive. A doctor may prescribe one of many prescriptions, light therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, meeting with a psychologist or psychiatrist, or lifestyle changes such as exercise or diet change (courtesy of mayoclinic.org).

The first step in obtaining treatment for SAD is to talk to someone. Those who suffer from SAD should talk to someone, be it a counselor, parent, GP, friend, spouse or co-worker. There is a lot of information out there for those who want to learn more about SAD--mayoclinic.org and nlm.nig.gov and WebMD.com all have information and research available for anyone who is researching.

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