- Aloofness or hyper social activity
- Depression or mania (an excited state marked by irrationality, hyper activity, violence and/or elation)
- Extreme fatigue
- Family history
- Location of residence
For example, while those who are related to SAD patients are at a higher risk of developing seasonal affective disorder, people who live in areas that receive less sunlight during certain parts of the year are also more likely to suffer from SAD. Similarly, women are more disposed to developing SAD than men.
Because SAD is a relatively new disorder (it has only been classified as a mood disorder since the 1970s), experts are still conducting studies on the best ways to diagnose and treat SAD. Consequently, treatments for SAD usually revolve around reducing and effectively managing the symptoms of the condition.
Activities that patients can still do while practicing light therapy include:
- Watching TV
These medications are all effective at treating the depression that is symptomatic of SAD. Keep in mind that you need to take these medications for an extended period of time before they start to have an effect.
Common side effects associated with antidepressants prescribed for SAD include:
- Blurry vision
- Loss of sex drive
If you have already been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, your doctor may recommend that you start taking antidepressants a few weeks before the change of seasons.