Seasonal Affective Disorder, often shortened to SAD, affects millions of adults and children every year, with winter months being some of the most challenging.
Around one in five Americans is diagnosed with seasonal depression, yet doctors are not entirely sure the underlying causes. Treated in much the same way as traditional depression, ongoing research suggests that the causes of SAD may be rooted in our physical and neurological relationships with light; most notably, sunlight. As autumn gives way to winter, the days and hours of sunlight grow shorter, cloudier days follow, and sometimes for weeks on end we can go without seeing much sunlight. For some people, this can cause devastating effects to circadian rhythm, sleep patterns, mood and energy levels, and possibly depression.
We don’t have to manage this complicated and misunderstood condition on our own however – tech developments are working to bring a little extra light, both literally and figuratively, into our winter worlds. Take a look at this infographic for more on SAD tech from sunlight lamps to mood tracking apps.