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SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER

Finally I found the disorder that I carried this past two months.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression or winter blues, is a mood disorder in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year experience depressive symptoms in the winter or, less frequently, in the summer, spring or autumn, repeatedly, year after year. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), SAD is not a unique mood disorder, but is “a specifier of major depression“.

Symptoms of SAD may consist of: difficulty waking up in the morning, morning sickness, tendency to oversleep as well as to overeat, and especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on completing tasks, and withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to the depression, pessimism, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder.

Most people with SAD experience major depressive disorder, but as many as 20% may have or may go on to develop a bipolar disorder, a manic-depressive disorder. It is important to discriminate the improved mood associated with recovery from the winter depression and a manic episode because there are important treatment differences. In these cases, people with SAD may experience depression during the winter and hypomania in the summer.

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