Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that typically occurs in the winter or summer months. It is most common in the winter months and is estimated to impact 6% of the population. SAD is brought on by shorter days and lack of sunlight. The difference between depression and SAD is timing and duration. SAD comes and goes with the changes in the season, while depression is not dependent on sunlight and occurs any time of year.
Risk Factors for Seasonal Affective Disorder:
- More common in females
- Higher for teens with depression or a close family member with depression
- Higher for teens living in the northern states
- Family History of depression
Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Lack of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
- Changes in eating habits (craving more carbohydrates)
- Lack of energy
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Concentration problems
- Changes in school work
Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder
- Get outside
- Maintain a healthy diet
- Adjust sleep routine
- Talk Therapy
- Light Therapy
It is important to see help if you or your teen are experiencing symptoms of SAD. If left untreated, SAD can have a significant impact on your life and daily functioning.
If you suspect your teen is at risk for Seasonal Affective Disorder, or if you believe your teen is currently suffering from it, call to schedule an appointment for therapy.