In the northern hemisphere, the sun gets dark earlier and suffering begins. It’s not just a common complaint about dark nights, it’s an actual cause of mental illness.Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is approximately 10% of people In northern latitudes. It’s often characterized by low mood, carbohydrate cravings, and a feeling of fatigue that persists even after sleeping too much, and lasts for the entire season. It is estimated that women are approximately three times more vulnerable than men.whole industry Treatment with light therapy has blossomed and has even been put into practical use. to court.
However, despite affecting so many people, the very existence of SAD remains a point of contention.
condition is first explained In a magazine in 1984 JAMA Psychiatry Written by South African psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal. Inspiration came from his own temperament. After moving to New York from South Africa in 1976, Rosenthal noticed that his energy and productivity decreased during the winter months. Once the snow started melting, his productivity level increased again.
Around the same time, in the second year of his psychiatry research fellowship, Rosenthal met Herb Kahn, a scientist who had been documenting the seasonal patterns of his depression for years. Rosenthal and his colleagues decided to treat Kahn’s symptoms with light therapy. This involves using light boxes instead of sunlight, and the idea is to extend the length of Khan’s day with artificial light. done.
Since 1981 washington post article After describing their research, thousands of people contacted them about similar winter fatigue. Rosenthal and his colleagues collected enough data for a study of 29 patients with bipolar disorder in Maryland. They tried the light therapy treatment again and were successful. (In a 2020 interview, Rosenthal said that the on-the-nose abbreviation for this condition quickly appeared because they were looking for it.) “Nifty abbreviation.”)
Three years later, in 1987, seasonal patterns of depression were included in the report. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disordersor DSM, also called the bible of psychiatry. However, SAD is not listed as an independent symptom, but as a type of recurrent major depression that appears at certain seasons each year. (There is also a subcategory of SAD that is a milder version of Seasonal Affective Disorder, commonly known as “winter blues.”) The most common subtype of SAD occurs in the winter, but with the onset of other seasons, such as winter. It may also occur. summer.