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More than the Winter Blues: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder, appropriately referred to as SAD, is a type of major depressive disorder that is cyclic—that is, the primary characteristic of this disorder is that the onset and remission occur at specific times of the year.
Published 12/26/2018 11:06:26 AM

More than the Winter Blues

The idea that one’s mental health could be tied to the seasons and to sunlight is actually quite old. Written around 300 B.C.E., one of the most important classics of Taoism, the Neijing Suwen(also referred to as The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine), describes the affects of the seasons on all living things and recommends that during the winter, “desires and mental activity should be kept quiet and subdued.” In 1806, the French physician Philippe Pinel, in his Treatise on Insanity, remarked upon the noticeable decline in the mental health of some of his patients “when the cold weather of December and January set in.” And in 1984, the South African psychiatrist Nicholas Rosenthal, who, after moving to New York, observed a pattern of depression that occurred during the winter months, coined the term Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Published 12/28/2017 2:18:59 PM

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