Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) also known as the winter blues or winter depression is a type of depression that not only affect adults but also teenagers. This type of depression is characterized by its seasonal occurrence or pattern.
Seasonal affective disorder appears and disappears at the same time of the year, usually during fall or winter when there is limited daylight or sunlight. Winter-onset SAD is more common in northern regions, where the winter season is typically longer and more harsh.
SAD is more generally common in teenagers than adults. For adults, the risk of SAD decreases as they get older. The condition is also more common in female teenagers than male and can have a lot of negative effect on the affected teenager. It can interfere with a teenager's ability to concentrate and succeed in school, and more importantly, the rise in teen suicide during winter is also believed to be as a result of the consequences of SAD.
The various symptoms of seasonal affective disorders are essentially the same as those of depression. However, the only significant difference is that SAD occurs only during a specific time of the year (usually winter or fall). Here in are some of the symptoms common to teenagers with seasonal affective disorder;
• Rapid changes in mood
• Lack of excitement
• Fatigue or low energy
• Sleep disturbances
• A rapid change in appetite, especially a craving for sweet or starchy foods
• Lack of concentration
• Weight gain
• Social withdrawal
The various symptoms of seasonal affective disorder if not treated could have varying degree of negative consequences on a teenager. It may affect a teenager's performance at school resulting in poor grades and even damage relations with fellow school mates or friends. This will in turn leave a teenager with feelings of hopelessness, dejection and a depleted self-esteem.
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