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What is the difference between Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the Winter Blues?

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What is the difference between Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the Winter Blues?

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Many people, especially in northern latitudes where winter hours of daylight are fewer, complain of feeling down, having less energy, putting on weight and having a hard time getting up in the morning. This is what we refer to as having the Winter Blues. Although there are variances among individuals, most people with SAD experience all of these symptoms, but to a much greater degree. They are often despondent and fatigued, and want to withdraw from the world. They may increase their sleep by as much as four or more hours per day, or have greatly increased appetites – sometimes accompanied by extreme cravings for sweet and starchy foods. Women frequently report worsening of premenstrual symptoms. In short, people with SAD suffer in the extreme the kinds of changes most of us experience in wintertime, and require medical treatment – either light therapy or antidepressants.

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