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Seasonal Affective Disorder: Causes, Symptoms and Remedies of Season-Induced Depression

Nov 09, 2016 04:12 AM EST

As the daylight saving time comes to an end and the time was reverted back to the standard, many healthcare professionals are worried about the emergence of the so-called seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder is a form of depression that typically occurs in the beginning of the fall and may continue throughout the winter months.

According to the report from International Business Times, seasonal affective disorder occurs when change in seasons, e.g. the lower levels of sunlight during fall and winter months, influences the body's melatonin and serotonin levels. These natural substances are linked with sleep timing and mood.

Usual symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include irritability, excessive sleeping, overeating and social withdrawal. Before being clinically diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, the patient has to develop acute symptoms for at least two years. People are suffering from seasonal affective disorder may appear moody and may experience constant need for sleep, low energy or excessive cravings for carbohydrates.

"The weeks immediately after the switch to daylight saving time is often the period of time when this emerges," Jeff Janata, a professor of psychiatry and the director of psychology at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, told ABC News. "It's not so much melancholy depression as it is what we think as neurovegetative depression,"

Patients who think they are experiencing depressive symptoms during the fall and winter months must first consult healthcare professionals before attempting self-treatment. There are couples of ways to avoid experiencing seasonal affective disorders. The best way to prevent developing the disorder is maintaining a regular schedule that includes daily exercise, outdoor walking and sleeping habit.

Additionally, experts believe that consuming vitamins, such as vitamin D, can help fight fatigue and lack of focus. Constant social interaction with friends and families can also lessen the risk of seasonal affective disorder. As much as possible, avoid isolated activities. Isolation could exacerbate the feeling of depression.

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