Sunday, 6 May 2012

Seasonal affective disorder


A seasonal disruption of mood. Symptoms appear in the winter beginning in September and resolve in the spring. Patients experience depression and a general lack of energy. The amount of light exposure is felt to be part of the cause and light is used in the treatment. The disorder is more common in women.

Depression that begins in the fall or winter, lack of energy, decreased interest in work, increased appetite, weight gain, increased sleep, excessive daytime sleepiness, social withdrawal, lethargy.

Treatment includes: antidepressant medications, and psychotherapy. Light therapy using a special lamps may be prescribed. Symptoms commonly resolve in the spring.
A psychological evaluation rules out other causes for the symptoms and confirms the diagnosis.