SAD may require Effexor

Effexor is a common antidepressant that is prescribed for individuals who are suffering from severe feelings of sadness.

Effexor is a common antidepressant that is prescribed for individuals who are suffering from severe feelings of sadness. As the fall and winter seasons approach, there's a chance that more individuals will begin to struggle with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), requiring the need for these types of drugs.

What is SAD?
SAD is a form of depression that often takes place on an annual basis for most patients. When the winter season hits, some people will begin to feel a change - for the worse - to their moods. Along with cold temperatures, there's generally a lack of sun that can cause a decrease in energy and make the blues come out. Although most patients with SAD have issues in the winter, there are some cases where people struggle with depression due to the onset of spring or summer.

Potential cause
This mental disorder is most common in women who are between ages 15 and 55. People who live in areas where the amount of daylight changes significantly in the winter months are also at a greater risk. However, medical professionals are currently unsure as to what exactly causes SAD. Most likely, reduced exposure to sun leads to issues with serotonin - a chemical found in the brain - that plays a major role in mood.

Symptoms and diagnosis
Like most forms of depression, individuals who are struggling with SAD may express a number of symptoms, including anxiety and a loss of interest in everyday activities. These can start as early as September and last until May. When doctors are trying to diagnose SAD, they may struggle in recognizing the difference between this and non-seasonal depression. Key signs that it is a seasonal disorder are cravings for carbohydrates, weight gain and sleeping more. Patients who experience relief when the seasons change are also likely experiencing SAD.

Treatment options
In most cases, doctors will prescribe antidepressants such as Effexor for individuals who are struggling with SAD. On top of that, there are plenty of things that people can do at home to help with their depression. Treatment should begin before symptoms do, when possible. Patients may also want to try to increase the time they spend outdoors during the winter, this may help to increase their exposure to the sun. Additionally, a healthy diet and regular workout routine can help ease feelings of sadness. When the spring and summer months hit, most people with SAD will find relief.