Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. It usually starts in the late fall and early winter and goes away during the spring and summer. Some people have episodes of depression that form in the spring or summer, but that is a lot less common. Symptoms of SAD may include:
- Gloomy outlook
- Feeling hopeless, worthless, and irritable
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities you used to enjoy
- Low energy
- Difficulty sleeping or oversleeping
- Carbohydrate cravings and weight gain
- Thoughts of death or suicide
SAD is more common in women, young people, and those who live far from the equator. You are also more likely to have SAD if you or your family members have depression.
The exact causes of SAD are unknown. Researchers have found that people with SAD may have an imbalance of serotonin, a brain chemical that affects their mood. Their bodies also make too much melatonin, a hormone regulating sleep, and insufficient vitamin D.
The primary treatment for SAD is light therapy. The idea behind light therapy is to replace the sunshine that you miss during the fall and winter months.
You sit in front of a light therapy lamp or box every morning to get daily exposure to bright, artificial light.
But if you are scratching your head wondering what the heck is a light therapy lamp?! We got you covered. Here is a list of the best light therapy lamps for 2022 and their pros and cons.