Seasonal Affective Disorder 

Seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) is a type of depression that is triggered by the seasons. The most common type of SAD is called winter-onset depression. Symptoms usually begin in late fall or early winter and go away by summer. Some experts think the cause of SAD is from the lack of sunlight during winter, when the days are shorter. A much less common type of SAD, known as summer-onset depression, usually begins in the late spring or early summer and goes away by winter. In the United States, it is much more common in northern states. Light therapy, in which patients expose themselves to a special type of light for 30 minutes every day often helps. While some may link ominous weather with depression Waterville Dr. Jeff Matranga says, “When people find ways to engage in spite of the weather their mood and energy levels seems to pick up.” Matranga is a psychologist in Waterville, “Neurons in the brain really like activity. Physical activity, but also engagement. Neurons like to be fired and when we slow down and withdraw the whole system gets kinda sluggish and depression can result.” he says. Light therapy is one option for treating this type of SAD because increased sunlight can improve symptoms.If your doctor suggests you try light therapy, you may use a specially made light box, or a light visor that you wear on your head like a cap. Generally, light therapy takes about 30 minutes each day. *Symptoms of summer-onset SAD include:A loss of appetite Weight loss Insomnia Irritability and anxiety Agitation Increased sex drive