Items in AFP with MESH term: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder - Article

ABSTRACT: Patients with seasonal affective disorder have episodes of major depression that tend to recur during specific times of the year, usually in winter. Like major depression, seasonal affective disorder probably is underdiagnosed in primary care settings. Although several screening instruments are available, such screening is unlikely to lead to improved outcomes without personalized and detailed attention to individual symptoms. Physicians should be aware of comorbid factors that could signal a need for further assessment. Specifically, some emerging evidence suggests that seasonal affective disorder may be associated with alcoholism and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Seasonal affective disorder often can be treated with light therapy, which appears to have a low risk of adverse effects. Light therapy is more effective if administered in the morning. It remains unclear whether light is equivalent to drug therapy, whether drug therapy can augment the effects of light therapy, or whether cognitive behavior therapy is a better treatment choice.


Seasonal Affective Disorder - Article

ABSTRACT: Seasonal affective disorder is a combination of biologic and mood disturbances with a seasonal pattern, typically occurring in the autumn and winter with remission in the spring or summer. In a given year, about 5 percent of the U.S. population experiences seasonal affective disorder, with symptoms present for about 40 percent of the year. Although the condition is seasonally limited, patients may have significant impairment from the associated depressive symptoms. Treatment can improve these symptoms and also may be used as prophylaxis before the subsequent autumn and winter seasons. Light therapy is generally well tolerated, with most patients experiencing clinical improvement within one to two weeks after the start of treatment. To avoid relapse, light therapy should continue through the end of the winter season until spontaneous remission of symptoms in the spring or summer. Pharmacotherapy with antidepressants and cognitive behavior therapy are also appropriate treatment options and have been shown to be as effective as light therapy. Because of the comparable effectiveness of treatment options, first-line management should be guided by patient preference.



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