Individuals who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) develop a depressed state when the seasons change from summer to winter. Once the weather begins to warm back up and days get longer, the winter depression symptoms leave. A lack of exposure to daylight and genetics contribute to the disorder.
The depression symptoms typically begin in October and begin to lift around March to April.
SAD affects women more often than it affects men, but the symptoms in men are stronger.
The seasonal depression disorder is most common in areas of the world farther from the equator. The days are shorter and therefore, less sunlight is available during the day.
Because the cause of the disorder is a lack of daylight, therapy for SAD includes using a special light box 30 minutes a day to increase daylight exposure. Other therapy includes medications, moving to a warmer climate during the winter, learning stress-reduction techniques and eating a healthy diet.