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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) (cont.)

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What are the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder?

Although there is no specific diagnostic test for the illness, it is understood that symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include tiredness, fatigue, depression, crying spells, irritability, trouble concentrating, body aches, loss of sex drive, poor sleep, decreased activity level, and overeating, especially of carbohydrates, with associated weight gain. When the condition presents in the summer, the symptoms are more commonly insomnia, poor appetite, and weight loss, in addition to irritability, difficulty concentrating, and crying spells. In severe instances, seasonal affective disorder can be associated with thoughts of suicide.

The symptoms of seasonal affective disorder typically tend to begin in the fall each year, lasting until spring. The symptoms are more intense during the darkest months. Therefore, the more common months of symptoms will vary depending on how far away from the equator one lives.

What causes seasonal affective disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder seems to develop from inadequate bright light during the winter months. Researchers have found that bright light changes the chemicals in the brain. Exactly how this occurs and the details of its effects are being studied. While those specific mechanisms remain undetermined, factors like low vitamin D levels in the blood are found to be associated with a higher occurrence of seasonal affective disorder and some other depressive disorders.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/14/2014

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/seasonal_affective_disorder_sad/article.htm

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