Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Getting SAD Is More Than Having The Blues

Date:
January 25, 2007
Source:
University of Rochester Medical Center
Summary:
While many people believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) amounts to feeling gloomy in the winter, a University of Rochester research review emphasizes that SAD is actually a subtype of major depression and should be treated as such.

While many people believe that Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) amounts to feeling gloomy in the winter, a University of Rochester research review emphasizes that SAD is actually a subtype of major depression and should be treated as such.

Lead author Stephen Lurie, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor of Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center, also noted that SAD is sometimes missed in the typical doctor's office setting.

"Like major depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder probably is under-diagnosed in primary care offices," Lurie said. "But with personalized and detailed attention to symptoms, most patients can be helped a great deal."

New, preliminary studies link SAD to alcoholism or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). However, not all people with SAD will have ADHD, according to the review article for the American Academy of Family Physicians.

"The important message here is that if you are a patient who has been diagnosed with a mental illness of any kind, don't just assume that any new mental or emotional problem is due to that illness," Lurie said. "Specifically, if you have ADHD and you feel worse in the winter, don't just assume it's your ADHD getting worse. It could actually be SAD -- and you should see your doctor because ADHD and SAD are treated entirely differently."

Although SAD has only been studied in adults, parents of children with ADHD should be sensitive to seasonal patterns of behavior and report any changes to a doctor, Lurie said.

Emerging evidence also shows that a pattern of seasonal alcohol use or abuse is associated with SAD. Patients might be self-medicating to cope with an underlying depression, researchers said.

Treatment for SAD includes light therapy, medications such as antidepressants, and cognitive behavior therapy. Each option seems to be effective, Lurie said, but none has been proven superior.

For some patients, SAD is precipitated by darker days causing a shift in 24-hour hormonal rhythms. The loss of natural light outdoors can be replaced with treatment by indoor light-therapy units designed for SAD. Light therapy is best delivered in the morning, when it can regulate the daily pattern of melatonin secretion, the review said.

Treatment with cognitive therapy has been shown to improve a person's dysfunctional thoughts and attitudes and other symptoms in patients with major depression, but no large studies have established whether this type of treatment is effective for SAD.

Doctors often prescribe antidepressants such as Zoloft for SAD. But most of the clinical studies have compared the drug therapy to a placebo pill rather than to light therapy, making it difficult to determine if one treatment is better, the review said.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Rochester Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Rochester Medical Center. "Getting SAD Is More Than Having The Blues." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070124143805.htm>.
University of Rochester Medical Center. (2007, January 25). Getting SAD Is More Than Having The Blues. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070124143805.htm
University of Rochester Medical Center. "Getting SAD Is More Than Having The Blues." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/070124143805.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Your Birth Season Might Determine Your Temperament

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) A new study says the season you're born in can determine your temperament — and one season has a surprising outcome. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Court Ruling Means Kids' Online Activity Could Be On Parents

Newsy (Oct. 17, 2014) In a ruling attorneys for both sides agreed was a first of its kind, a Georgia appeals court said parents can be held liable for what kids put online. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

The Best Foods To Boost Your Mood

Buzz60 (Oct. 17, 2014) Feeling down? Reach for the refrigerator, not the medicine cabinet! TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) shares some of the best foods to boost your mood. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

You Can Get Addicted To Google Glass, Apparently

Newsy (Oct. 15, 2014) Researchers claim they’ve diagnosed the first example of the disorder in a 31-year-old U.S. Navy serviceman. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins