Seasonal Affective Disorder - Winter Depression - Types Of Depression

This series of articles will give a brief overview of the different types of depression, this article will focus on Winter Depression. If you are looking for a definition of a specific type of depression that is not Winter Depression click one of the links below.

Bi Polar Depression
Cyclothymic Disorder
Dysthemia Disorder
Major Depression Disorder
Post Natal Depression

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD is often also known as the winter blues, seasonal depression, or more commonly Winter Depression. Winter depression is diagnosed as when the sufferer has symptoms that are repeated year after year during the winter months.

Winter depression usually affects people in the Northen hemisphere where the light conditions are lower than in the southern hemisphers. Some studies have shown that the amount of light hitting the back of a perosns retina (eye) can alter the chemicals in a persons brain that can affect mood. The studies reveal that lower light levels equals lower mood levels.

Symptoms of winter depression include a desire to over sleep, a reduction in energy levels, and cravings for sweet and carbohydrate rich foods which can then lead to weight gain. As with most cases of depression the sufferer of winter depression will be withdrawn from society, friends, family, and social activities. They will be unable to concentrate effectively and will be unable to extract enjoyment from tasks and activities that are usually found pleasurable.

Treatments for winter depression can include light therapy, prescription medication, psychiatric therapy, and supplementation of the hormone melatonin.

Unfortunately many cases of winter depression will develop into other types of depression including major depression disorder, and bipolar depression.