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It’s not unusual for people to feel a little down at one point or another, but some are consistently depressed when the summer ends and shorter days begin. Is this depression due to circumstances or do they have SAD? Having the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) explained will help determine if their problem is simply a down day or something more serious.

A type of depression, SAD is often characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness as well as losing interest in normal activities. The symptoms increase as the year progresses from sunny, longer days to those which are colder and shorter.

Symptoms generally include, but are not limited to, the following:

* Sleepiness or fatigue – This is common among people suffering from SAD; in fact, they may desire to sleep ten or more hours per day during the winter. Unfortunately, most people experiencing SAD don’t feel rested no matter how much they sleep.

* Concentration problems – Since SAD is a form of depression, those with this disorder often experience difficulty with concentration, quality of memory, and the ability to speak. It is quite common for people with SAD to have problems remembering names, dates, and appointments.

* Irritability and anger – Also common in those affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder is having fits of anger. One recent study found 40% of the people with SAD had anger episodes which were deemed inappropriate compared with only 29% of people without SAD. They also have these bouts of anger nineteen or more times per month.

* Increased appetite – Many people with general depression will stop eating; however, some people with SAD often experience an increase in appetite. 65% of those having SAD state they’re actually hungrier during the darker months. This increase in appetite may be due to lower levels of serotonin which controls appetite and mood.

* Carbohydrate cravings – When SAD sufferers do eat more during colder months, they most likely crave carbohydrates such as pasta and bread. Some doctors think the desire for carbs is caused by the increase of tryptophan which then increases the serotonin levels. They may be using carbs in place of medicine to increase their moods but will result in gaining weight during the winter months.

* Withdrawal from normal activities – Depression sufferers often feel like secluding themselves, but this is particularly true for those with SAD.

These symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder may vary in severity in each person. Visiting a physician will enable them to correctly diagnose and recommend treatment if you are found to have SAD.

Click HERE to learn more about Seasonal Affective Disorder and one way to help combat it and other related symptoms

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