FALL-ing Into Depression

Summary

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Today Charles talks with North Carolina-based clinical psychologist Dr. Damon A. Silas about Seasonal Affective Disorder, how it impacts him and shares some of these difficulties with others with the hope that they will seek help for feelings of depression and lethargy.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons, typically starting in the late fall and early winter and going away during the spring and summer. Depressive episodes linked to the summer can occur, but are much less common than winter episodes of SAD.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is not considered as a separate disorder. It is a type of depression displaying a recurring seasonal pattern. To be diagnosed with SAD, people must meet full criteria for major depression coinciding with specific seasons (appearing in the winter or summer months) for at least 2 years. Seasonal depressions must be much more frequent than any non-seasonal depressions.

Symptoms of the Winter Pattern of SAD include:

Having low energy

Hypersomnia Overeating

Weight gain

Craving for carbohydrates

Social withdrawal (feel like “hibernating”)

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