Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment, Drugs, Causes, Symptoms, and Diagnosis

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of medical condition that is highly related to depression. It occurs at the same time in each year hence the name seasonal. The condition is also known as winter depression, summer depression, summertime sadness, winter blues and seasonal depression. It is a mood disorder that mostly occurs during winter or summer.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Drugs

  • Fluoxetine
  • Phenelzine sulfate
  • Lithium carbonate

Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

Seasonal affective disorder has symptoms like any other medical conditions. The severity of the condition depends on the individual. Some people are severely affected while for others it is mild. Below are the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  • Feeling that you don’t want to associate with others
  • Suffering from a low libido
  • Sorrowful
  • Feeling anxious and stressed
  • Loss of interest in your routine
  • A continued low mood feeling
  • Feeling as if you are worthless, guilt and despair
  • Lacking the normal energy
  • Poor concentration
  • Finding it difficult to wake up
  • Being less active than normal
  • Sleeping for longer hours than normal

Seasonal Affective Disorder Causes

The main causes of Seasonal affective disorder are not known, but there are many factors that are attributed to this medical conditions.

  • Circadian rhythm: this is the biological clock in your body. Decreased sunlight during winter may cause the brain not to function as it is supposed. This leads to feelings of depression that can cause Seasonal affective disorder.
  • Serotonin levels: This is a chemical produced in the brain to help it function properly. Once there is a drop in sunlight the chemical may fall down leading to depression.
  • Melatonin levels: this is a chemical that has a great role in the sleeping mode. It is triggered by light and once there is no enough light it tends to drop leading to depression.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Diagnosis

Seasonal affective disorder is diagnosed through psychological assessment. The doctor checks your mental health by asking you several questions. These questions include your mood, lifestyle, your eating and sleeping patterns, seasonal changes in your behavior among many others. Although it is difficult to determine Seasonal Affective Disorder since there are other types of depression, below are the reasons that make the doctor confirm that you are suffering from this medical condition.

  • If the condition occurs at the same time of the year
  • You have been having the same symptoms during the same time of the year
  • If the depression period ceases followed by periods without depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

Seasonal affective disorder is a medical condition that is treated using different methods. It can be through medications, light therapy or psychotherapy. Patients are advised to inform their doctors if they are suffering from bipolar disorder to avoid complications during drug administering.

  • Light therapy: This medication uses a bright light to trigger the brain. Bright light is known to trigger the way the brain chemicals work in a human mind. The treatment is one of the most effective and works in few days. The treatment has no side effects.
  • Medications: This is the use of drugs to reduce the effects of this medical condition.
  • Psychotherapy: This is another option where the patient is counseled.