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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a mood disorder subset, in which people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year exhibit depressive symptoms at the same time each year, commonly but not always in the wintertime, with reduced sunlight.
|Seasonal affective disorder|
|Other names||Seasonal mood disorder, depressive disorder with seasonal pattern, winter depression, winter blues, summer depression, seasonal depression|
|Bright light therapy is a common treatment for seasonal affective disorder and for circadian rhythm sleep disorders.|
Common symptoms include sleeping too much, having little to no energy, and overeating. The condition in the summer can include heightened anxiety.
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-IV and DSM-5, its status was changed. It is no longer classified as a unique mood disorder, but is now a specifier, called "with seasonal pattern", for recurrent major depressive disorder that occurs at a specific time of the year, and fully remits otherwise. Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder. However, the validity of SAD has been questioned by a 2016 analysis by the Center for Disease Control, in which no links were detected between depression and seasonality or sunlight exposure.
In the United States, the percentage of the population affected by SAD ranges from 1.4% of the population in Florida, to 9.9% in Alaska. SAD was formally described and named in 1984, by Norman E. Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health.