Seasonal Affective Disorder Diagnoses On The Rise

The onset of winter brings colder weather, shorter days and — for many people — the blues.
The number of seasonal affective disorder diagnoses rose this year in University of Minnesota students, according to the Boynton Health Service 2015 College Student Health Survey, and some experts say it could be due to an increased awareness among doctors of the mental health issue.
The number of students diagnosed has nearly doubled since 2007, jumping from 2.8 percent to 5.5 percent this year, Boynton Chief Medical Officer Gary Christenson said.
Many of those students were diagnosed before entering college, he said.
“The classic definition of SAD is that it’s a major depression that has a clear seasonal onset,” he said. “As light becomes lower, the depression comes on.”
SAD, however, differs from traditional depression symptomatically, Christenson said.
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