Results - Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) Survey

    During Autumn and Winter, a lot of people feel sad or down, due to the low temperatures and shorter days. However, for some people, this can turn into a subtype of clinical depression that lasts throughout the fall and winter months. This is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

    What are the symptoms of SAD?

    • Mild depression
    • Anxiety
    • Decreased activity
    • Social withdrawal
    • Increased sleep duration
    • Increased appetite
    • Weight gain
    • Carbohydrate craving

    Who suffers from SAD?

    • 10% of general population
    • Most common in people who are treated for depression
    • Most common in higher latitudes, where winter days are a lot shorter than closer to the equator
    • Occurs more in woman than in men
    • SAD may run in families, which suggests that it could be genetic
    • Occurrence of SAD lessons after the age of 55 years

    What Causes SAD?

    • 24-hour sleep-wake cycle, circadian rhythm, caused by the rise and fall of hormones–melatonin
    • Melatonin is the master sleep hormone, produced in the pineal gland
    • The sleep-wake pattern depends on how well the functioning of the internal circadian clock works, deep in the brain.
    • It works with photo sensors in the eyes to sense darkness
    • The body begins to produce melatonin when darkness falls, one of the factors that cause you to sleep.
    • Melatonin is secreted throughout the night, at dawn it decreases and gradually diminishes – causing you to wakefulness in the morning.
    • When there is a problem with this system, sleep disorders and psychological problems can occur.

    Read more about Seasonal Affective Disorders (SAD) and recommended treatment.


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