Seasonal depression: what is it?
Proper light exposure is necessary for our well-being. As proof, you have probably already observed a general drop in mood during the winter, but what is the cause of this phenomenon?
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a condition where depressive symptoms occur repeatedly each year during the fall and winter months. It is due to the decrease in the duration and intensity of natural light during this period. Indeed, in addition to its role in vision, light also has an effect on mood and behavior. This effect is due to brain circuits beginning in specific cells of the retina, which have the role of conveying light information to brain areas regulating mood.
One of the treatments for SAD is light therapy, which, if used correctly, can provide rapid mood improvement with very few side effects. Light therapy has even been shown to be as effective as antidepressant treatment, and these treatments can be used in a complementary manner. Even if it is easy to get a light therapy lamp, it is advisable to ask a doctor’s advice to use it in good conditions and not to disturb your sleep rhythm.
Moreover, even if it is less common, some people also suffer from seasonal depression… in summer! Since these are the months when the light is at its peak, what is the cause? The processes that are at the origin of this disorder are currently being under investigation…