Chances are, you may have experienced depression at some point in your life, but are you familiar with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)? Approximately 10 million people in the U.S. experience severe cases of SAD, while 10 to 20 percent of people suffer from milder cases. And get this: Women are four times more likely to develop SAD compared to men, and it tends to affect more people living in northern states. So what else is there to know about this fairly common disorder? Read on to find out.
What is it?
Also known as seasonal depression, winter depression and winter blues, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that occurs at a certain time of year, typically in the winter. Although most people tend to suffer from SAD during the fall and winter, there are select few who suffer from it during the summer months instead.
SAD is believed to be caused by a lack of sunlight during the winter months since bright light is thought to have an effect on the brain’s chemicals. However, thanks to a study conducted by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, we might be getting closer to understanding some of the details behind those chemical changes.
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