Less sunlight and shorter days are thought to be linked to a chemical change in the brain and may be part of the cause of SAD.
Melatonin, a sleep-related hormone, also has been linked to SAD. The body naturally makes more melatonin when it’s dark. So, when the days are shorter and darker, more melatonin is made.
There are two types of SAD:
The following are the most common symptoms of SAD:
Symptoms tend to come back and then improve at about the same times every year.
The symptoms of SAD may look like other mental health conditions. Always see a health care provider for a diagnosis.
Depression often occurs with other conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. It may also occur with other mood disorders, such as substance abuse or anxiety. For these reasons, early diagnosis and treatment is key to recovery.
A diagnosis of SAD may be made after a careful mental health exam and medical history done by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.
The treatments for "winter depression" and "summer depression" often differ, and may include any, or a combination, of the following:
There are also things you can do for yourself to help relieve symptoms: