Seasonal affecting disorder : A mental health problem

By Dr S. K. jha

Seasonal affecting disorder is a psychological disorder in which depression occurs during the same time every year.

Many people enjoy the winter season.They travel to hill station for watching snowfall and enjoy with family and friends.

But do you know that some people feeling sadness or depression in cold , which is also known as “winter Blue”.

Actually,’winter Blue ‘ only comes during October month to April month.The shorter days of winter and the lack of sunlight can cause the body to produce too much melatonin anot enough serotonin,a neurotransmitter that helps in regulating the mood.

Researchers say that seasonal affecting disorder is a type of mood disorder that coincides with the changes in season.The most common form of SAD is depression starting when the season changes from fall to winter, often called Winter Depression.

People affected by this disorder will experience some or all other classic symptoms of depression which can be debilitating.


It is very very unclear what causes affects the SAD, though some researchers suggest people who experience seasonal depression may have trouble regulating serotonin,a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood and is affected by exposure to sunlight.

When melatonin and serotonin levels are out of balance,it can be harder for people to adjust to seasonal changes in day length.Vitamin D , which promotes serotonin activity and is produced when skin is exposed to sunlight, also may play a vital role.

It is psychological mood disorder that is characterized by lethargy and depression dependent upon the season.The disorder is more common among people who experience a longer winter and less hours of sunlight than people closure to the equator.

This disorder is four times more common among females than males. It is usually develops around the age of 20 to 30 years old and also shows evidence of significant familial predisposition to developing the disorder.

Brain activity of SAD patients vary from healthy individuals.


1) felling of sadness

2) hopelessness, anxiety or irritability

3) loss of interest

4) social withdrawal

5) fatigue

6) food cravings and weight gain

7) trouble thinking

8) extreme difficulty in waking up in the morning

9) Depressed mood

10) Change in appetite

11) feeling of suicidal thoughts

Unlike other types of depression,if left untreated of SAD ,then seasonal affecting disorder usually improves when spring arrives.

Symptoms tend to come back and then improve at the same things every year.


The most common treatment for SAD is phototherapy.

Medications are also used as treatment for seasonal affecting disorder. This treatment are usually used if light therapy does not work.Antidepreesants are effective at treating SAD. Selective serotonin inhibitors are also effective.

Simple lifestyle changes may be an easy way to mitigate the depressive symptoms associate with seasonal affecting disorder.

a) the walk outside around the ground for one hour a day.

b) add more lamps and brighten lightly at home and work.

c) avoid using sunglasses or contact lenses that are coated to shield UV light radiation because the interferes with light transmission to the pineal gland.

These simple lifestyle changes could be an effective treatment for those experiencing milder symptoms and may reduce symptoms of Seasonal affecting disorder.

So,be careful and always take the task easily,not in anxiety.