Seasonal affective disorder, seasonal depression that occurs in autumn and winter, and passing in the spring and summer.
The main cause of seasonal depression is the lack of sunlight. This leads to a change in circadian (daily) rhythms, and some disruption of production of hormones, including melatonin.
The main clinical manifestations of seasonal depression:
increase in the duration of sleep, difficulty awakening, fatigue in the morning, daytime sleepiness. Sometimes there early awakening with the inability to fall asleep again
depressed mood, decreased self-esteem, hopelessness, despair, tearfulness, anxiety, decreased interest in life, the disappearance of positive emotions, difficulty performing normal daily tasks
anxiety, irritability, hot temper, internal stress, worsening of stress tolerance
increased appetite, irresistible craving for sweets and flour, which leads to an increase in body weight
sexual problems: decreased libido (sexual desire) and potency
physical symptoms: pain in the joints and abdomen, fatigue, reduced resistance to colds
Social problems: Irritability and desire to avoid social contact, communication with family and friends.
Seasonal affective disorder can develop at any age but most commonly develop the disease between 18 and 30 years. The symptoms of seasonal depression disappear suddenly in the spring for 3-4 weeks or gradually over the spring and summer, depending on the intensity of sunlight in a particular area.
Since the main reason (seasonal depression) is a lack of sunlight, the most effective treatment is light therapy (bright light therapy). The brightness of light in phototherapy should be high enough - at least 2,500 suites. This is approximately five times brighter than a well-lit office. In the living room lighting is typically less than 200 lux. For the treatment uses special lamps or svetoboksy that create the proper level of illumination. They are usually placed at a distance of 40-45 cm from the eye. A session lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours and set the doctor depending on the initial severity of the condition.
There is no need to look directly at the light. Suffice it to fall on the cornea at a slight angle of 30-40 degrees. During the session, the patient can read a book, watch television or work with your computer. The positive effect of light therapy for seasonal depression develops within 1-2 weeks of starting treatment. The treatment must continue throughout the "dark" time of year.