The newsletter of the Memory Disorders Project at Rutgers University

What is seasonal affective disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder characterized by depression which occurs at a particular time of the year (usually winter).

Seasonal affective disorder symptoms

The symptoms include fatigue, apathy and loss of concentration. SAD usually occurs only in adults, and in women more frequently than men. It is thought that SAD may be triggered or exacerbated by the lack of sunlight during winter months, and in fact SAD is more common in northern latitudes, where there may be only a few hours of sunlight during winter days.

Individuals suffering from SAD often benefit from light therapy, which involves daily exposure to lights designed to produce the same kind of radiation as sunlight; they may also benefit from counseling, exercise, stress management and antidepression medication.

by Catherine E. Myers. Copyright © 2006 Memory Loss and the Brain