Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Specialist

Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Women's & Reproductive Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
Sexual Health
In-Person care in Bethesda, MD
Telehealth appointments in Maryland, Virginia, DC,
Florida and Michigan

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression or the “winter blues,” represents a specific subtype of depression or bipolar disorder that manifests and resolves around the same time each year. Typically, seasonal depression arises during seasonal transitions, with most symptoms emerging in the autumn and persisting through the winter months. While Seasonal Affective Disorder can occasionally occur during the summer or spring, such occurrences are less common. At WCWCW in Bethesda, Maryland, our team of specialists is dedicated to providing the necessary supportive care to help you overcome the challenges associated with SAD. We extend the same high-quality service via telehealth for patients residing in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Michigan, and Florida. Feel free to reach out to our office or request an appointment online to learn more.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) Q & A

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Understanding the Prevalence of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

The prevalence of SAD in the United States ranges between 4% and 6%, with an additional 10% to 20% experiencing milder forms of the condition. Notably, SAD is more common in women compared to men, and while some children and teenagers might be affected, its onset typically occurs in individuals older than 20 years. The risk of developing SAD tends to decrease with age. Geographically, SAD is more prevalent in the northern regions of the United States, where longer, harsher winters and reduced sunlight are common characteristics.

Contributing Factors and Symptoms

The onset of SAD appears to be linked to the diminished sunlight during the fall and winter seasons. Research suggests that reduced sunlight can impact the body in ways that potentially contribute to the development of SAD. Some factors that elevate the risk of developing SAD include being female, residing far from the equator, having a family history of SAD or other forms of depression, and having a pre-existing diagnosis of depression or bipolar disorder. Furthermore, SAD is more commonly reported among younger adults, with a decrease in the likelihood of its occurrence as individuals age.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) include typical manifestations of depression such as feelings of despair, diminished self-esteem, loss of interest in activities, and a sense of hopelessness. Additionally, specific symptoms more commonly associated with seasonal depression might include carbohydrate craving, increased appetite, excessive sleepiness, and weight gain. A diagnosis of seasonal depression is typically made after two consecutive occurrences of depression during the same time each year, with symptoms subsiding for the remainder of the year.

Comprehensive Support and Care

At WCWCW in Bethesda, Maryland, our specialists offer the necessary supportive care to help you effectively manage the challenges presented by seasonal affective disorder. We are committed to providing the same high-quality service through telehealth for patients residing in Maryland, DC, Virginia, Michigan, and Florida. Don’t hesitate to contact our office or request an appointment online for further information and support.

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