Dr. Joe Spalding, a psychiatrist at Capital Region Medical Center's Psychology and Counseling Department, said the symptoms are quite different from typical depression.
People who are depressed normally have a loss of appetite, lose weight and sleep less due to the anxiety, Spalding
said.SAD causes the opposite effect in people.
"Patients with SAD can be described as eating like a bear, sleeping like a bear and growling like a bear," Spalding
In the last 10 years, studies have clearly shown the efficacy of light therapy, Spalding
"Light therapy can work rather quickly; even quicker than medicine," Spalding
Light boxes with special bulbs help to lighten the spirits of those suffering with SAD.The boxes are designed to simulate direct sunlight while sitting indoors.
The key is for patients to look at the light occasionally throughout the day, Spalding
said.A mechanism in the eyes is how the connection is made.
They are available in different sizes, depending on the need of the user.Small units sit on desks or tables; larger units can make an entire room more bright.Spalding
said because lights boxes are expensive, his
primary form of treatment is medication.Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) are Spalding's usual prescription for SAD.
SSRIs help to restore the balance of serotonin in the body.The medicines usually help increase energy levels and moderate sleep schedules, Spalding