Seasonal Affective Disorder: Signs and symptoms to be aware of
Many folks catch a case of the winter blues when the snow starts to fall. But for some, it's much more than a seasonal funk.
Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of Depression that's related to changes in seasons, affecting about 6% of the population.
It's most common in the Winter.
Symptoms are the same as Depression, except that it only occurs during a specific time of year.
Treatment may include light therapy, medications and psychotherapy.
"The farther away you get from the equator, the greater the incidence of Seasonal Affective Disorder. So for example, Maine is going to be hit harder than Florida. The majority of people who have mental illness never get treatment for it and treatment works," said Dr. David Prescott, a psychologist at Acadia Hospital. "Depression is one of the most treatable forms of mental illness, yet at the same time, it's actually the world's leading cause of disability. Usually within 6 to 10 counseling visits, people feel a lot better and the symptoms start to go away."
Dr. David Prescott says it's perfectly normal to have some days when you feel down, but if those feelings persist for an extended period of time, and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, you should see your doctor.