Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - why it's more than 'the winter blues'

When to seek help from your doctor?


If you are struggling to manage your symptoms yourself, your doctor will want to hear from you - just as they would about any mental health condition. Your GP will talk to you about potential treatments, which could include antidepressants, or using talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or counselling. Antidepressants are effective as they can alter the noradrenaline and serotonin levels in the brain, which are known to be involved in our mood management. While they can't cure SAD, they can help you cope with the symptoms more effectively.

Other treatments include the use the herbal remedy St John's wort (although this should not be used in conjunction with antidepressants) and bright light therapy, This is not usually available on the NHS, but charities such as Sad.org.uk offer advice about lamps which might be suitable for you.

In very severe cases, your doctor can refer you to a psychiatrist, too.

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