Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

Nearly 1 in 20 adults in the U.S. faces Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a condition that usually emerges in young adulthood, between 18 and 30 years old. Interestingly, it affects more people assigned female at birth than those assigned male, a phenomenon still being explored by scientists. Beyond this, up to 20% of Americans might feel the milder, yet still challenging, winter blues. This broad impact highlights a common struggle many face as the seasons change.

Acknowledging these challenges, The Care Clinic is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective support. We focus on understanding each person’s unique journey with seasonal mood changes, offering a range of treatments to help them find balance and well-being throughout the year.

Lifestyle Interventions for Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments

We accept insurance.

Sana Benefits
magellan healthcare

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes with the seasons. It typically starts in the fall and gets worse during the late fall and early winter, then tends to ease up with the arrival of spring and its longer, sunnier days.

Many people experience a lighter form of seasonal mood changes known as the “winter blues.” It’s pretty common to feel a bit down during the colder, darker months, especially when you find yourself spending more time indoors.

However, SAD is more than just feeling gloomy because it’s cold and dark outside. It’s a serious form of depression that can significantly affect your mood, thoughts, and daily activities. The good news is, there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms of SAD, making it easier to get through the tougher times.

Can people get seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the summer?

Yes, it’s possible for people to experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in the summer, though it’s less common. This version, often referred to as “summer depression,” typically begins in late spring or early summer and fades away by fall. While the winter version of SAD is more widely recognized, summer SAD is a real condition that affects individuals during the warmer months.


What are the Symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD?

Recognized as a major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern, it brings a range of symptoms that can affect how you feel, think, and handle daily activities. If you’re dealing with SAD, you might notice:

  • Persistent sadness or feeling down most of the time.
  • Anxiety and stress.
  • Cravings for carbs and possible weight gain.
  • A significant drop in energy or feeling very tired.
  • Feelings of hopelessness or not feeling worthwhile.
  • Difficulty focusing.
  • Being easily annoyed or upset.
  • A heaviness in your arms and legs.
  • Losing interest in activities you usually enjoy, including social ones.
  • Sleeping too much or having trouble getting up.
  • Thinking about death or suicide more than usual.

For those who experience SAD during the summer, the symptoms can look a bit different, including:

  • Feeling more agitated or restless.
  • Increased anxiety.
  • Less appetite and possibly losing weight.
  • Trouble sleeping or not feeling rested.

Recognizing these signs is a step toward seeking help and managing the symptoms effectively

What Causes Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)?

The exact cause of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) isn’t fully understood, but it seems to be linked to several factors related to the change in seasons. Here’s a simplified look:

  • Biological Clock Shift: Less sunlight during shorter days can shift your internal clock, which controls mood, sleep, and hormones. This shift might make you feel out of sync with your usual routine.
  • Brain Chemical Imbalance: Serotonin, a brain chemical that boosts mood, might dip due to reduced sunlight. This decrease can lead to feelings of depression.
  • Vitamin D Deficiency: Sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D, which in turn influences serotonin levels. Less sunlight can mean less vitamin D and possibly a lower mood.
  • Melatonin Increase: The change in light might increase the production of melatonin, a chemical that regulates sleep, making you feel more sleepy or sluggish.
  • Negative Thoughts: Stress and negative thoughts about winter can also play a role. It’s still being studied whether these are causes or effects of SAD.

What are the Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder?

At The Care Clinic, our approach to tackling Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is comprehensive, relying on light therapy, psychotherapy, and more. Each treatment plays a pivotal role in our strategy, offering a path to relief and management of SAD symptoms.
Central to our treatment, light therapy involves sitting near a bright light box that mimics natural sunlight, usually for about 30 minutes each morning. This exposure can help reset your internal clock and improve mood and energy levels by affecting brain chemicals linked to sleep and mood, such as serotonin and melatonin.
CBT is a form of psychotherapy that addresses negative thought patterns and behaviors contributing to SAD. Through CBT, individuals learn to challenge and change their depressive thoughts and behaviors, which can help reduce SAD symptoms. It focuses on practical strategies to cope with the seasonal changes that trigger depression, aiming to boost mood and improve daily functioning.
For those with Seasonal Affective Disorder, connecting through interpersonal therapy and support groups offers great benefits. These settings allow individuals to share experiences with others who understand, fostering a sense of community and reducing loneliness. It’s a shared journey towards feeling better.
Adding mindfulness and stress management to SAD treatment can significantly help manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Practices like meditation, deep breathing, and yoga keep individuals focused on the present, leading to a calmer, more balanced state and a steadier mood through the seasons.

Medication for SAD Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatment

Medication plays a pivotal role in The Care Clinic’s holistic treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder, offering another layer of support for those whose symptoms persist despite other interventions. 

  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs): SSRIs are commonly prescribed for SAD because they help increase serotonin levels in the brain, which can be lower in people suffering from depression, including SAD.
  • Bupropion XL: Specifically approved for the prevention of SAD episodes, Bupropion XL is an atypical antidepressant that affects norepinephrine and dopamine neurotransmitters and is taken before the onset of the SAD season.
  • Vitamin D Supplementation: Research has suggested a link between low levels of Vitamin D and depressive symptoms in SAD. Supplementation may help mitigate these symptoms, especially in regions with long winters and limited sunlight.
What are the Treatments for Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs): SNRIs are another class of antidepressants that can be effective in treating SAD by increasing the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain.
  • Tricyclic Antidepressants: Though less commonly used today due to side effects, tricyclic antidepressants can still be effective for some patients with SAD who don’t respond to SSRIs or SNRIs.
  • Melatonin Supplements: Given the role of light in regulating circadian rhythms and melatonin production, melatonin supplements can sometimes help correct the sleep-wake cycle disturbances associated with SAD.
  • Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs): MAOIs are one of the older classes of antidepressants and might be considered for patients who do not respond to other treatments, although they are generally less preferred due to dietary restrictions and potential side effects.

Lifestyle Interventions for Seasonal Affective Disorder Treatments

At The Care Clinic, we recognize that managing Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) extends beyond traditional therapies. Incorporating lifestyle interventions can significantly enhance the effectiveness of seasonal affective disorder treatments, offering a more holistic approach to care. These adjustments in daily habits can empower individuals to better manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being.
At The Care Clinic, we recognize the unique challenges faced by individuals with bipolar 1 disorder and the importance of continuous support. That’s why we offer 24/7 support for bipolar 1 disorder, providing round-the-clock access to professional care and assistance. This unwavering support ensures that our patients never feel alone, offering them the help they need whenever they need it.
At The Care Clinic, we advocate for regular exercise as a core component of the best treatments for seasonal affective disorder. Physical activity not only elevates mood via endorphin release but also aids in regulating sleep and mitigating anxiety. Finding enjoyable exercises ensures adherence to your treatment for seasonal affective disorder, contributing to a more positive seasonal experience.
Nutritional balance is integral to our seasonal affective disorder treatments. A diet rich in various nutrients supports mood regulation and energy levels, essential for managing SAD effectively. This strategy is a critical part of your sad seasonal affective disorder treatment plan, underscoring the importance of well-being from the inside out.
For those undergoing sad seasonal affective disorder treatment, establishing a consistent daily routine is beneficial. Regular schedules bolster your body’s internal clock, enhancing sleep quality and lessening SAD symptoms. Recognized as one of the best treatment for seasonal affective disorder, a structured routine fosters stability and predictability.
Maintaining social ties is crucial in the holistic treatment for seasonal affective disorder. The Care Clinic places a strong emphasis on the power of community and interpersonal connections to combat feelings of isolation. Engaging in meaningful social activities is a vital part of a comprehensive seasonal affective disorder treatment plan, promoting emotional support and collective healing.

Get the Best Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder in Our Clinic

Choosing The Care Clinic for your seasonal affective disorder treatments means choosing a path that values comprehensive, individualized care. Here’s why we stand out as the best choice for managing SAD:

  • Expertise and Specialization: Our team comprises dedicated professionals specializing in SAD, ensuring you receive knowledgeable and empathetic care.
  • Tailored Treatment Plans: We believe in a personalized approach, crafting treatments that align with your specific symptoms and lifestyle.
  • Innovative Therapies: From the latest in light therapy technology to cutting-edge psychological interventions, we offer a range of options to suit your needs.
  • Supportive Community: Beyond individual therapy, we provide access to group support, fostering a sense of belonging and mutual understanding among those affected by SAD.

Committed to tailored treatments and fostering a supportive community, we offer relief and a pathway to renewed vitality and resilience in the face of seasonal challenges.

Contact Us and Begin Your Treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder

Embarking on the journey to overcome Seasonal Affective Disorder is a significant step towards reclaiming your joy and vitality, no matter the season. At The Care Clinic, we’re committed to guiding you through this process with compassion, expertise, and personalized care. Our holistic approach ensures that we address SAD’s symptoms and root causes, helping you achieve lasting wellness.

Don’t let another season pass, shadowed by the effects of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Reach out to us today, and let’s begin the journey towards brighter days. Contact The Care Clinic and choose us for your journey to wellness.

Skip to content