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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

In most cases, SAD appears during late fall or early winter and goes away during the sunnier days of spring and summer (often called winter depression).

Fall and winter SAD-symptoms may include:

  • Irritability Tiredness/low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy feeling in the body
  • Changes in sleep pattern (increased sleeping-hours)
  • Changes in appetite
  • Weight gain

When to see a doctor or a psychologist?:

It‘s normal to have some days when you are feeling down. But if you feel down for days at a time and can‘t get motivated to do the activities you normally enjoy, then see a general practitioner (GP), psychiatrist or a psychologist. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed or if you feel hopeless or have frequent thoughts of death or suicide.

It is highly recommended to take vitamin D, lýsi (cod liver oil) and Omega-3 during the winter months in Iceland. Research shows that Omega-3 can have a positive effect on depression and SAD. Outdoor activities during the day-time and regular exercise are recommended as well.