For Some, a Second Pandemic Winter Means Seasonal Affective Disorder Is Hitting Hard
This interesting article is focused upon the diagnosis of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) during the now 2-year length of the pandemic and how it has affected those with the affliction. The article begins by discussing a case of an individual who experiences anxiety and depression and who is sensitive to the issue and who has experienced an increase in the SAD. The article quotes a psychiatrist familiar with the issue. “Luana Marques, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, says she’s seeing similar trends among her patients. If last year’s primary challenge was isolation, this year’s is uncertainty, Marques says. As the pandemic drags on and new variants emerge, many people are afraid of what that could mean for the winter ahead—especially when, post-vaccine rollout, they’d envisioned spending the season around friends and family. That’s colliding in an unfortunate way with SAD, which is defined as depression that follows a seasonal pattern for at least two consecutive years….It’s logical to think the pandemic would worsen that situation, given that many people are spending more time at home and socializing less than ever—effectively doing the opposite of what experts typically recommend for avoiding SAD.” The article makes simple easy to follow recommendations which include going outside and trying to increase social contacts. Further, “Pre-pandemic tools for fighting SAD still apply as well. There is some evidence that exposure to light therapy lamps can help, and some people have luck with vitamin D supplements. Mental health professionals can also provide extra support.”
Time, December 23, 2021, by Jamie Ducharme
LINK TO RESOURCE
(Tiny URL) https://tinyurl.com/45ubzbdt
CLASS DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:
•What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? How is it diagnosed? Is it different than other types of depression?
•According to the psychiatrist quoted in the article, how has the pandemic affected those with SAD?
•What are the recommendations for coping with SAD?