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  • Áine Murray

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

Winter (SAD)


  • Unexpected Weight Gain.

  • Fatigued, Sleeping more than usual.

  • Depression

  • Overeating

Winter (SAD) - Symptoms begin early winter and improves during summer months.

Spring (SAD)


  • Loss of appetite

  • Unexplained Weight Loss

  • Insomnia

  • Irritability

Spring (SAD) - Spring or Summer (SAD) is less common and symptoms begin late spring, early summer.

Whilst the cause of seasonal affective disorder is largely unknown, it is frequently attributed to a chemical change in the brain associated with less sunlight. Some scientists believe that melatonin may play a significant role. As a sleep-related hormone, melatonin causes feelings of fatigue. The body naturally produces more melatonin when it’s dark outside, so shorter and darker days can contribute to increased melatonin production thus lethargy and exhaustion during the day. Or with more light during spring and summer, melatonin production decreases and thus insomnia and irritability occurs. A drop in serotonin, a brain chemical (neurotransmitter) that affects mood, might also play a role in SAD. Reduced sunlight can cause a drop in serotonin which may trigger depression.

Treatments of (SAD)

Light therapy – Phototherapy is a treatment that has proven to be very effective for Winter (SAD). It involves exposing oneself to light via a special box or lamp. The device produces similar effects to natural light, triggering chemicals in your brain that help regulate your mood. Don’t make an impulse buy on the Internet though, as it’s important to consult with your doctor first. You want to make sure you’ve purchased an effective and safe device.

Talk Therapies – Talk therapy can be an invaluable option for those with (SAD). At we can help you identify patterns in negative thinking and behavior that impact depression, learn positive ways of coping with symptoms, and institute relaxation techniques that can help you restore lost energy and improve your well-being over all.

Healthy Life Style Choices -

Yes, junk food and alcohol may feel good in the moment, but long-term, they’re not wise choices for managing the symptoms of depression. Instead, it’s best to make choices that are as health-conscious as possible. This includes nutrition, exercise and fresh air.

If you’re struggling with side effects of a condition like SAD, it’s important to make good choices for your health to improve how you feel both mentally and physically.

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