Tag Archives: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder – An Introduction

Seasonal Affective Disorder pic
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Image: examiner.com

Dr. Alexander Salerno, the second-generation lead physician at Salerno Medical Associates in New Jersey, upholds a personal and professional dedication to caring for underserved members of the community. Dr. Alexander Salerno strives to ensure that all patients have access to primary care for medical and mental health issues, including seasonal affective disorder.

As its name suggests, seasonal affective disorder causes mood disturbances that correlate with the cycle of the yearly seasons. Most people with the condition experience symptoms during the fall and winter months, when periods of daylight are shorter, though some clients report that they experience depressive symptoms in the summer months instead. Regardless of time of onset, patients typically present with the expected signs of clinical depression, such as feelings of hopelessness and a lack of interest in their usual activities.

Because diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder is based solely on patient self-reports, physicians must be careful to rule out similar-seeming illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome and underactive thyroid before confirming a diagnosis. Patients who do receive a diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder often find relief with light therapy, in which they sit near a lightbox that emits a particular fluorescent light that mimics natural sunlight. Medication may also be helpful to certain patients in managing depressive symptoms, while psychotherapy can provide additional resources for redirecting negative thoughts and developing adaptive coping skills.

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An Overview of Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder pic
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Image: examiner.com

Dr. Alexander Salerno leads a health-care practice in East Orange, New Jersey. There, Dr. Alexander Salerno sees patients with a variety of conditions, including mood disorders, such as seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder, also referred to as seasonal depression, occurs when a person experiences negative changes in mood at a certain period of the year, most commonly in the fall and winter months. While the exact cause of seasonal affective disorder is not known, many scientists believe it may be associated with the lower levels of sunlight a person typically is exposed to during the darker months of the year. This may have an effect on serotonin levels, and therefore a person’s overall mood. A person’s hormones also may play a role.

Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder often gradually increase in their severity before they begin to improve, typically in the spring. These symptoms include feeling lethargic, having trouble focusing, and wanting to withdraw from others. The person might experience weight changes and have sleeping difficulties as well. If you feel depressed or have a low mood at certain times of the year, talk to your doctor about seasonal depression. Your doctor may recommend treatment, which might include sunlight exposure, medication, or counseling.