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Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder 
Does your mood become as dark as the winter days? Do you feel lethargic, crave carbs, sleep more yet feel fatigued, have difficulty focusing and accomplishing things, and tend to feel sad and withdrawn during the shorter, more overcast days this time of year?

If you have had these symptoms during fall and winter months for at least two years, but feel more like yourself the rest of the year, you may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SADS. Changing proportions of sunlight and darkness affect our mood and behavior. For nearly 11 million Americans, SADS disrupts with their lives to a significant degree, interfering with relationships, jobs, school and general health and happiness.

One of the primary treatments for SADS is use of therapeutic light sources. Sitting close to an intense source of light, such as a therapeutic light box, reduces daytime melatonin levels and may enhance the effectiveness of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Other treatments include use of antidepressant medications.

The Student Counseling and Development Center can assist you if you believe you suffer from SADS. There is a light box available for trial use at the center. Usually best used in the morning for about 1/2 hour, most people benefit within less than a week. Individuals at the center can provide information on resources for obtaining therapeutic light devices or other treatments as appropriate. Call 559-7276 for more information.

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