What is seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?

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What Is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during a certain time of the year.

Written by Alex

Alex is an AYO Co-Founder with over a decade of experience in Circadian Health. His background includes technology, health & fitness, and marketing.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs during a certain time of the year. It is most commonly observed in the fall and winter months when there is less natural sunlight. The decrease in sunlight can challenge our body’s internal biological clock and affect the production of serotonin and melatonin in the brain.

SAD, also known as seasonal depression, is estimated to affect approximately 5% of the population. It prevails in countries farther from the equator, where there are longer periods of darkness during the winter months. This implies that sunlight exposure plays a vital role in regulating our mood and overall state of well-being. A more milder version of SAD is popularly known as winter blues.

The symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder can impact anyone, but it is more prevalent in women and those living in regions with long, dark winters. Symptoms of SAD can vary and may include depression, fatigue, moodiness, changes in appetite, and sleep patterns. The exact cause of SAD is not fully known, but it is believed to be influenced by genetic, biological, and environmental factors.

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