Not everyone is as enthusiastic about daylight savings time ending, some relish the early sunlight in the mornings, other dread the early sunsets.  But for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it can cause a sever depression that goes well beyond just not liking this yearly time change.  According to an article published by the National Institute of Health, mild forms of SAD affect up to 20% of the United State’s population.  SAD tends to develop in the teen years and affects more women than men.  People who live in areas with long winter nights are also more prone to developing SAD.

SAD has several symptoms, increased appetite and/or weight gain is the most common.  Others include increased sleep/daytime sleepiness, less energy, loss of interest, lethargic movement, irritability, and social withdrawal.

Unfortunately there is no test for SAD, un medico will ask you a series of questions and perform other medical exams, just to rule out other causes.  There are treatment options available and other steps one can take to ease the symptoms.  Taking a walk during the daylight does help, there are also medications designed for depression that work very well with SAD.  Medicos also recommend a treatment option called ‘Light Therapy’, it involves a very bright fluorescent light designed to mimic natural sunlight.  This light is placed a few feet away from the person and is only used for about 30 minutes a day.  This treatment has proven to be very helpful.

If you feel that you may be a little more sad than usual this time of year, there is a small chance that it might be SAD, so please check with your local medico just to be sure.