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Has S.A.D Got You Down?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a kind of depression that manifests at certain times of the year, usually fall and winter. About two to three percent of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime.1 For some people, SAD affects them in late spring or early summer. It is unclear what causes SAD. The physical environment one lives and works significantly affects all aspects of health and it is thought that symptoms of SAD may be due to a lack of sunlight. It has also been found to have some family ties: 13% to 17% of people who develop SAD have an immediate family member with the disorder.[1]

Symptoms of SAD

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression displaying a recurring seasonal pattern. People with SAD often feel tired and lethargic and may withdraw from friends and family. They often report feeling hopeless or worthless, having problems with sleep, having difficulty concentrating, and losing interest in activities you once enjoyed.

Talk to your trusted healthcare professional if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. Some options to discuss include vitamin D testing and light therapy. Light therapy has been a mainstay of treatment for SAD since the 1980s and low blood levels of vitamin D are often found in people with the condition.

Reference:

1. Canadian Mental Health Association. Seasonal Affective Disorder. 2013 https://cmha.bc.ca/documents/seasonal-affective-disorder-2/