How Much Melatonin Should A Child 4 Years Old Take What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Winter Depression

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What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – Winter Depression

This is caused by a chemical imbalance in the hypothalamus due to lack of winter sun and shortening of daylight hours and repeats itself year after year.

For many people, it can be a seriously disabling condition, preventing them from functioning normally without ongoing medical treatment. For others, it is a less serious but still debilitating condition that causes discomfort and suffering, this is called *subsyndromic SAD or “the blues of Winter”. Another 17% of the UK population are thought to suffer from this more benign condition.

The description

*Subsyndromic is a term that refers to symptoms of a disorder that do not meet the requirements for a diagnosis of that disorder or disease. With respect to bipolar disorder, this descriptor can also be used to refer to symptoms that do not quite meet the requirements to be considered an episode of bipolar disorder.

Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder may include: a tendency to oversleep, difficulty waking up in the morning, overreacting, a craving for carbohydrates, leading to weight gain, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and completing tasks, and a loss of interest in friends, family, and social contacts.

In summary, symptoms can be any or all of the following:

* The Depression

* Sleep problems

* Lethargy

* Eat too much

* Loss of focus

* Social problems

* Anxiety

* Loss of libido

* Mood swings

All of this leads to the depression and lack of pleasure that characterizes a person with seasonal affective disorder.

Various causes have been proposed for the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder, one possibility is that it is related to a lack of serotonin, another theory is that the cause may be related to melatonin which is produced in dimness and darkness. darkness by the pineal gland.

This gland produces the hormone melatonin in small amounts and then releases it into the bloodstream. The release is triggered by periods of darkness or reduced sunlight, if higher than normal levels of melatonin are released into the bloodstream the amount of good quality sleep may be affected.

The “winter blues” experienced by both Seasonal Affective Disorder and *Subsyndromic Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers can usually be lessened or extinguished by increased outdoor activity, especially on sunny days, resulting in increased exposure in sunlight. There are well-documented links between human moods, energy levels, and different seasons, even in healthy individuals. It has been suggested that Seasonal Affective Disorder is a remnant of a hibernation response in a distant ancestor, and if this interpretation is correct, it would not be a dysfunction or a disorder, as most psychiatrists assume, but a normal and expected response to the seasonal. changes. Women tend to be more likely to be affected by this than men.

Most sufferers have some sort of major depressive disorder, but up to 20% may develop a manic-depressive disorder such as bipolar disorder.

It is very important to distinguish between the mood change associated with recovery from winter depression and a manic episode as there are important differences in treatments.

Treatments

There are several different treatments for classic seasonal affective disorder, including light therapy, medication, negative air ionization, and cognitive behavioral therapy, a psychotherapeutic approach.

Bright light therapy has been shown to be effective in up to 85% of diagnosed cases and usually involves the use of a light box.

Ordinary light bulbs and fittings are not suitable. Average home or office lighting typically emits an intensity of 200-500 lux, as opposed to the minimum dose needed to treat SAD of 2500 lux. The intensity of a bright summer day can reach 100,000 lux.

Bright light treatment should be used daily throughout winter, and even during prolonged dull periods in summer. This normally means starting in early fall or when the first symptoms appear, and it means sitting two or three feet from a light box, which would usually be on a table, and allowing the light to shine directly in the eyes.

Normal activities such as reading, working, eating and knitting while stationary in front of the box can be performed, as there is no need to look directly at the light.

The treatment usually takes effect within the first three or four days and then continues, provided it is used daily. Tinted lenses should not be worn or any other device that blocks light to the retina of the eye.

Some light boxes can emit a higher light intensity, some up to 10,000 lux, which can reduce the treatment time needed to half an hour per day.

Light boxes must be purchased from specialist retailers, they are not available on the NHS, but are exempt from VAT when used for medical purposes.

Negative air ionization involves the release of charged particles into the air of the sleeping environment and has been shown to be effective with up to 47.9% improvement when the negative ions have sufficient density.

There are different medications useful in the treatment of SAD, which one is used depends on each individual case and their specific needs. Psychotherapy, counselling, or any complementary therapy that helps the patient relax, accept their illness, and face their limitations is extremely helpful.

*Medical definition of subsyndromic

characterized by or exhibiting symptoms that are not severe enough to be diagnosed as a clinically recognized syndrome

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