Nearly one person in every 15 in Burton on Trent and Uttoxeter could suffer from a medical condition that causes depression and fatigue during the dark winter months.

SAD – or Seasonal Affective Disorder – is at its most severe during January and February, and it is estimated up to 12 million people across northern Europe suffer to some degree.

And while the causes are not fully understood, doctors have a much better understanding of the condition and how to tackle it.

LiteBook Elite

LiteBook Elite (Photo credit: DBarefoot)

Burton-based GP, Dr Charles Pidsley, Chief Clinical Officer of East Staffordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “SAD is one of those conditions that have only become generally recognised relatively recently. It is a genuine form of depression, and like all depression it can have a profound impact on some people, and no two cases are the same.”

Symptoms of SAD include those of depression like feelings of despair and having low self-esteem, anxiety and irritability. Additionally sufferers may:

  •     Be less active
  •     Feel tired and need more sleep
  •     Be lethargic when they are awake
  •     Loose concentration
  •     Eat more than usual

Dr Pidsley said: “SAD does tend to ease away as spring approaches, and the cause is very probably related to the way daylight impacts on the part of the brain that controls mood, appetite and sleep.

“The good news is that if you think you are affected you can be assessed and there are a number of treatments that do work. These include light boxes, behavioural therapy and medication.

“Like most medical conditions, it is less scary once you start to understand it, and simply talking about it can help.”

SAD can affect people of any age, including children.

Enhanced by Zemanta