What is the Difference Between Seasonal Depression and Regular D - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What is the Difference Between Seasonal Depression and Regular Depression?

Seasonal affective disorder, otherwise known as seasonal depression, affects one in every ten people. Seasonal depression is a sub-type of depression, and begins to take its toll as the days get shorter. 

"The only difference between it and regular depression is that is has a time period when it exists," said Dr. Gabriel Spring of Palmyra Medical Associates. 

Women are at a greater risk of experiencing seasonal depression. 

"The condition affects women four to five times more often than it does men. It actually decreases with age, so as you get older, fewer people have it," noted Spring. 

Dr. Spring says symptoms including fatigue, feelings of sadness, crying episodes, lots of sleeping or trouble sleep and loss of appetite or increase in appetite. In terms of treatment, there are a variety of options that can be used, depending on what works best for the patient. 

"A good way to work through it is to get a patient's idea of what might work for them, because it actually can be treated in multiple different ways," said Spring. 

Some may choose to use light therapy, and expose themselves to an artificial light for 20-30 minutes each day. For others, medical treatment might be the best option. 

"If seasonal depression is something you think you might have, definitely call your doctor and speak to them," said Spring. 

If you would like more information on this topic, please call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009. 

If you have a question about your health you'd like answered, email healthquestions@nbc29.com.  

For more information on Seasonal Affective Disorder, please visit the following sites:

The following is a list of resources where light fixtures may be purchased.  On average, the price is likely to range between $200 and $500.  

  • Apollo Light Systems - 1-800-545-9667
  • Hughes Lighting Technologies - 973-663-1214     
  • The SunBox Company - 1-800-548-3968

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