Mental health articles

OF mental health care and mentally ill

Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment Natural

Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder include typical (low mood and energy) and atypical (increased appetite and sleep) depressive features occurring together in a seasonal pattern. Estimates of prevalence of the disorder in the UK average about 2.5% of the population. A mechanism for the seasonal variation in mood may involve effects of light levels on melatonin metabolism.

There is evidence of benefit from phototherapy, although the most effective treatment form of light (short periods of bright light, or gradually increasing intensity mimicking sunrise) is not clear. Patients whose symptoms most closely resemble those typical of depression may respond well to antidepressant medication. Also, antidepressants may have a prophylactic role if started before the typical onset of symptoms in autumn. The value of psychological therapies is unclear.

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