What is Seasonal Affective Disorder and what helps it? Can diet and
Seasonal Affective Disorder, sometimes called SAD, is a mood disorder
that occurs with a seasonal pattern. Usually the pattern is of depressed
mood that begins in fall or winter and gets better in the springtime.
It is usually treated with a combination of psychotherapy, full spectrum
light and anti-depressants.
Exercise and diet may help, as they do in other mood disorders, but someone
who notices severe mood decline during the darker months of the year should
seek professional help.
What causes SAD? Unfortunately the cause of this kind of depression is
unknown. Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that are released by nerve
cells. Some scientists believe that lower levels of light during winter
months may cause the neurotransmitters to become out of balance.
For further information visit the Depression
Deborah G. Alicen, Ph.D., is a private practice
psychologist who lives in Plainfield, Vermont--a transplanted Southerner who
still can't say "cows" the way real Vermonters do. She has spent the
last twelve years working mostly with children, adolescents, and adults recovering
from sexual abuse and domestic violence.