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Winter depression, or Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), is a mental illness that follows climatic changes, with sufferers experiencing extreme depression during the long, dark, cold days of Winter and resolution in Spring. ‘Winter blues’ is a milder case of depressed mood due to the season change in light. SAD is believed to be linked to levels of melatonin, a hormone that is influenced by light, which promotes sleep. Sufferers generally experience a loss of interest, problems with sleeping and eating, irritability and a pervasive depressed mood. Doctors commonly prescribe light therapy, where the patient spends a required amount of time exposed to light, and antidepressants.
Source: summary of medical news story as reported by Poughkeepsie Journal.com
About: Seasonal affective disorder: a winter illness
Date: 23 October 2005
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal.com
Author: Rebecca Imperati
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